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If only Allstate insured Altamont

Posted by: Burth Helm on August 13, 2007

Allstate has a new campaign out today for its motorcycle insurance policies. We know that fear is the emotion that drives insurance sales. But is this one on-brand?

blog allstate biker.jpg

In other words, would I be in “good hands” with this hombre? I know the ad frightens me. But you got it mixed up, Allstate. It frightens me because I think Dean Akey would a) tell me I shouldn’t have busted up my hog in the first place, or b) tell me I should stop whining for handouts, or c) just wordlessly crack a pool cue over my back before awarding me an insurance claim. And is that an Iron Cross on his jacket?

blog Allstate dennis.jpg

We’ve all grown accustomed to Dennis Haysbert scaring the bejeesus out of us. But look how safe he is. He ran through startling house-fire and car-crash scenarios in that smooth, assured baritone of his. Maybe this new biker ad works “in the demo.” But biker fear doesn’t inspire me to buy insurance, or inspire confidence in Allstate’s agents. Instead it’s just an amusing contradiction, and doesn’t serve much purpose.

Reader Comments


August 14, 2007 3:56 AM

I think you missed the point on this one. It isn't that he's a threat, it's that he's a biker, like the biker customers they are after.

Wide appeal? Probably not. Hit the button for a number of bike riders who don't trust 'lizards in suits' to sell them insurance? Probably.

Dean Akey

August 15, 2007 2:20 PM

I will admit I may not be the typical insurance agent but I hope I do not scare away folks. The Iron Cross is a patch I bought at the 100th anniversary of Harley Davidson rally in Milwaukee and I would hope not represent anything other than Harley Davidson was 100 years old.
As bikers we do try to give back to the communities we live in which can be seen by two of the groups I founded: & Now who needs some great motorcycle insurance???? I am your guy..

Burt Helm

August 15, 2007 3:11 PM

Thanks for weighing in Dean, great response. But I gotta ask, are you always that stern-looking as in the photo? Why not smile?


August 18, 2007 10:55 AM

I think the ad is brilliant. Congrats Dean! If only I lived in IL!

Lainie Richtseig

September 5, 2007 5:21 PM

Dean Akey's my hero.


September 7, 2007 2:02 PM

Dean is quite an interesting individual from the few talks I have had with him. And, with regard to comment regarding levity and gravity: smiling is for situations that call for it, not every situation does. It's not like he's frowning, or glaring, or grimacing, or being needlessly macho -he's just being himself. I originally saw a high-res promo for this ad, and was quite taken by it. In fact, it reminded me just how much fun riding is and made me take the first steps to get back on a bike for the first time in twenty-five years!


September 24, 2007 3:11 PM

This is an innovative idea and I am sure it will do quite well. Burt, if Dean smiled then why bother showing the big arms with tattoos.

Jim Belden

September 27, 2007 9:30 AM

Congrats to Allstate for coming up with creative, eye catching advertising. While the photo of Dean Akey makes him look menacing, I can't think of a more kind-hearted individual. Whether reaching out to help other bikers or anyone in need of a favor, Dean is a "Go To" guy.


May 8, 2008 2:20 PM

I think it's hot! Caught my attention. I think people speak too quickly sometimes (Alex).

Rebecca 'Akey' Williams

August 9, 2008 11:31 PM

Wow Dean - You're causing quite a stir. I guess that's an 'Akey' for you. We have insurance with Allstate here in Texas, however, if we ever move back to the midwest, I'll definately look you up!! We just bought a Harley for Pat's 50th birthday, so we're now in the market for motorcycle insurance. Would love to have you as our agent!!! You're too cool!

Bill Stade

August 18, 2008 8:26 PM

I know Dean from the Elgin Area Organization of Harley Owners. (EAO) Simply put, Dean is charismatic, highly articulate and a great guy.
By the way, that cross is not a nazi symbol as some believe. It goes back to the crusades and was popular in europe for centuries.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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