Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mayhem Actor Dean Winters: Why I Love Allstate’s Bad Boy

Actor Dean Winters injects just the right amount of devilish charm into Allstate ads in which he portrays Mayhem.

Even at an age when I'm old enough to know better, the sexy grin and knowing wink of a Bad Boy still has seductive appeal.

The series started with Winters portraying a curvy female jogger with headband described as awesome. An ogling driver ends up with his car wound around a post.

He manages to simultaneously portray and skewer a texting teenage girl who leaves a bashed fender in a parking lot. The sexism of these two ads has been protested.

As a longtime feminist, my take is not that Allstate is making a general statement about all females wearing pink or being shallow, anymore than it is saying that all garage roofs will cave in from snow. It is, after all, portraying mayhem, which is by definition, random and unpredictable – not stereotypical.

Part of Winter’s appeal as Mayhem is the glee with which he portrays the result from each accident. Even as he survives battering in each accident, Mayhem laughs with unfettered joy.

And isn’t that part of the appeal of the Bad Boy, laughing in the face of all authority figures?

Allstate’s Mayhem shows up undaunted from each mishap, sporting an increasing amount bruises, dirt on his face, torn clothing, and other signs of, well, random mayhem.

Winters intones moodily about how you and the snow on your garage roof are growing heavier – until eventually the roof caves in to Mayhem’s delight.

Mayhem chortling as he scrunches under the dashboard, a bandaid clearly visible, pretending to be the voice of an out-of-control GPS system. “Recalculating,” he cries out at the last possible moment, too late for the driver to avoid an accident.

I’m not the only viewer enjoying Winter’s performance. The Internet is filled with chatter of women who invite Mayhem to run into them.

Ah, the Bad Boy – the once and future prince of our hearts.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Amen, sister! From a fellow Ft. Lauderdale-ian who loves that mayhem guy!