TV commercials are often an idealized from of reality, with the smiling faces of paid actors pretending to like a product for :30 seconds at a time. But when your ad shows real damage to the homes of real people following a real tragedy, it’s probably best to make sure you’ve actually helped those people first.
Following Hurricane Sandy, AllState made a commercial called “1,000 Thank You’s” that highlighted how AllState agents put their customers’ needs above their own:
However, one of the homes featured in the ad, which Sheila and Dominic Traina have lived in for more than 40 years, is part of an ongoing dispute, as the couple claims that AllState has failed to provide them with the compensation needed to rebuild their home.
According to Mrs. Traina, “The commercial said how caring their agents are, but they are not caring at all.” Mr. Traina added, “They’re supposed to help you, not hurt you.”
When asked to comment, an AllState spokesperson said the commercial was “produced in accordance with all applicable advertising laws”, but that’s not likely to help much when stories like this can go viral on social networks in the blink of an eye.
Hopefully both parties can come to a mutual agreement on the issue, but this serves as another reminder of the changing landscape that companies must face now, as social media helps spread stories that can have a large impact on the impression that consumers form about a company, beyond just what they see on TV.