MEET MAYHEM: The Man Who Made Insurance

Meet Mayhem

Meet Mayhem



When Allstate’s marketing chief, Mark LaNeve, resigned ”for personal reasons” in February it left much of the ad industry wondering if the brand’s star spokesman, Mayhem, would be going with him.

Since the Mayhem campaign was launched in June 2010, he has been an industry favorite and loved by consumers, who find the mischievous character hilarious.

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In the first year of the campaign, Allstate’s CEO, Thomas Wilson, thought that Mayhem was helping move business. “It’s working. If you look at our quotes and our new business, it’s way up,” he said on an earnings call in early 2011.

But at the time of LaNeve’s resignation, Allstate was losing market share and revenue from property-liability insurance premiums was flat in 2011, at $25.9 billion.

The campaign, which was edgy and entertaining for a financial services client, seemed to overshadow the very product it was trying to sell.

But while Mayhem may not have brought the success that Allstate hoping for, Dean Winters has reaped the rewards of his dark comedic performance.

The actor, who declined to be interviewed, has been on a steady stream of TV shows since the late 1990s (including 30 Rock). But he often talks about the decision to play the destructive Mayhem as one of the best he has ever made.

Although he joked with Ad Age in 2011, ”I wanted to become an actor so I didn’t have to put on a suit and sell insurance.”

You can read the original post here now:

Axl’s letter to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame,

Axl Rose- A No Show

Axl Rose- A No Show

Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern


To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,

When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first  announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting  to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I  was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing.  Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N’ Roses were to be  inducted it’d be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.


Since then we’ve listened to fans, talked with members of the board  of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments  and jabs from former members of Guns N’ Roses, had discussions with the  president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some  contrived) and read other artists’ comments weighing in publicly on Guns  and the Hall with their thoughts.


Under the circumstances I feel we’ve been polite, courteous, and open  to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking  into consideration the history of Guns N’ Roses, those who plan to  attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen  to include in “our” induction (that for the record are decisions I don’t  agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how  (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled  things… no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction  Ceremony doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or  respected.

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their  accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp  has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It’s their show  not mine.


That said, I won’t be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame  Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a  member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.


I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know  that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any  induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label  representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether  directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported  induction of “Guns N’ Roses”.


This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from  my and my camp’s perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or  condemn. Though unfortunately I’m sure there will be those who take  offense (God knows how long I’ll have to contend with the fallout), I  certainly don’t intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with  this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we’ve actively  sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be  a no win, at least for me, “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” scenario  all the way around.


In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the Appetite or Illusion  lineups, I’ve publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing’s changed.


The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my  opinion whether under the guise of “for the fans” or whatever  justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or  demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts  with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank  Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ  Ashba.

Izzy came out with us a few times back in ’06 and I invited him to  join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the  Hard Rock, later in ’06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our  after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with  reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in ’11  along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me,  with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so  inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that’s enough.


There’s a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out  there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking  the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or  originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light,  there isn’t room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.


Maybe if it were you it’d be different. Maybe you’d do it for this  reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We’re there for  each other when the going get’s rough. We love our fans and work to give  them every ounce of energy and heart we can.


So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to  move on. People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal  happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others’,  expense.

But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the “no show,  grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn’t care about the  fans” crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let’s move on. No  one’s taking the ball and going home. Don’t get it twisted. For more  than a decade and a half we’ve endured the double standards, the greed  of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of  wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply  anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in  regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball’s never been in our  court.

In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as  ironic as it may seem, I’d like to sincerely thank the board for their  nomination and their votes for Guns’ induction. More importantly I’d  like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any  success we’ve had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N’ Roses  music.


I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other  artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on  tour!!



Axl Rose


P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III

You can view another post on Guns and Roses here:/lorenwenningproject/blog/raw-data-press-release-omitting-guns-n-roses-from-hall-of-fame-lineup/

The Huge Leadership Lesson Sam Palmisano Learned While Doing Business In Japan


IBM Chairman Sam Palmisanodisrupted his industry, and like any good executive, he did it because he knows how to lead.

One of the most difficult parts of leadership is taking a step back and listening.

In an article for McKinsey Quarterly, Amgen’s CEO Kevin Sharer talks about how he was a terrible listener until Palmisano convinced him to change:

The best advice I ever heard about listening—advice that significantly changed my own approach—came from Sam Palmisano, when he was talking to our leadership team. Someone asked him why his experience working in Japan was so important to his leadership development, and he said, “Because I learned to listen.” And I thought, “That’s pretty amazing.” He also said, “I learned to listen by having only one objective: comprehension. I was only trying to understand what the person was trying to convey to me. I wasn’t listening to critique or object or convince.”

That was an epiphany for me because as you become a senior leader, it’s a lot less about convincing people and more about benefiting from complex information and getting the best out of the people you work with. Listening for comprehension helps you get that information, of course, but it’s more than that: it’s also the greatest sign of respect you can give someone. So I shifted, by necessity, to try to become more relaxed in what I was doing and just to be more patient and open to new ideas. And as I started focusing on comprehension, I found that my bandwidth for listening increased in a very meaningful way.

In the article, Sharer also talks about how corporate culture plays a huge role in being able to actually listen well; and that strategic listening is critical if you want to be able to sense any “danger” that may be on the horizon. If you’re not in tune to that, the consequences could be dire.
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Never Get A Red-Light Camera Ticket Again With

Never Get A Red Light Ticket Again

Never Get A Red Light Ticket Again

This DIY GPS Hack

If you live in a city with red light cameras that snap pictures when you  accidentally sneak through a red light then chances are you’ve received a ticket  with your picture in the mail before.


DIY blogger Dave wanted a better way to track where these cameras were  located so he decided to rig up a GPS to alert him when he was near a red light  camera.

Using a GPS receiver, an OLED display, a database of red light cameras, and an Atmega with a Arduino bootloader, Dave created a simple system that alerts him when he’s near a red light camera.

It’s not perfect and still won’t stop you from accidentally running a red  light, but it might be enough to make you more conscious of your driving when  you know red light cameras are in the area.

Hit up the link below for a full walkthrough and the source code to make this  project for yourself.

> Red Light Camera  Alerter | Plastibots Lego Robotics via Hack  a Day

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EXCLUSIVE: Ron Paul Shocks Campaign Staff

With New Position On Israel


Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul revealed this week that he would  support moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a surprising position  that contradicts conventional wisdom about Paul’s stance toward the Jewish  state.


Paul first made this position known Wednesday night, during a private meeting  with evangelical leaders interested in  helping the Texas Congressman reach out to the conservative Christian  community.

According to a transcript of the meeting obtained by Business  Insider, the leaders started off the meeting by asking Paul whether he would  sign an Executive Order to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to  Jerusalem, a major policy objective for Israeli hardliners and many leaders in  the Christian Right.

“The real issue here is not what America wants, but what does  Israel want,” Paul told evangelical leaders, according to a transcript of the  meeting obtained by Business Insider. “If Israel wants their capital to be  Jerusalem, then the United States should honor that.”

“How would we like it if some other nation said ‘We decided to  recognize New York City as your capital instead, so we will build our embassy  there?’” he added.

Even Paul’s senior campaign aides were surprised by his response.

“We were floored,” senior advisor Doug Wead told Business Insider.  “It sounds like pure Ron Paul, but it still caught us off  guard…If someone would have asked him that in a national debate, I  suppose it would have popped right out, but nobody did!”

Wead added that Paul’s position “makes sense after the fact,” noting that the  candidate has frequently emphasized Israel’s sovereignty.

Still, Paul’s stance will likely come as a surprise to GOP leaders, most of  whom view Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy ideas — and particularly his  stance towards Israel — as his greatest weakness. The septuagenarian Congressman  has largely been snubbed by the right-wing Jewish community, and was even excluded  from a December presidential candidates’ forum hosted by the Republican Jewish  Coalition because of his “misguided and extreme” foreign policy views.

“I appreciate what he said about Israel — as a matter of fact, I was  pleasantly surprised,” Brian Jacobs, a Texas pastor who attended  Wednesday’s meeting, told Business Insider. “It helped answer a lot of questions  that I had.”

Ironically, Paul and Newt  Gingrich are now the only presidential candidates who have said that they  are in favor of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the  U.S. Embassy there. President Barack Obama has postponed moving the Embassy.  Romney “would like to see the U.S. Embassy eventually moved to Jerusalem,”  campaign spokesman Andrea Saul said in a statement emailed to Business  Insider.

While Paul’s position is unlikely to change the near-certain outcome of the  Republican primary, it could help Paul gain support among evangelical leaders,  many of whom have been hesitant to support Romney. Jacobs, who works as a  consultant for televangelist Billy Graham’s organizations, told Business Insider  that several evangelical leaders — including heavyweight televangelist like  James Robison and Will Graham — have started to express interest in talking to  Paul in the wake of Rick Santorum’s departure from the race.

Jacobs said he is now working with the Paul campaign to organize conference  calls between the candidate and evangelical leaders. Christian  television producer Justin Machacek, who also attended Wednesday’s meeting, said  he is working on arranging a larger meeting between Paul and other conservative  Christian groups.

A relationship with Christian Right powerbrokers could give Ron Paul more  leverage within the party, as Romney tries to  unite the GOP after this year’s divisive primary fight. It could also help  broaden the Paul coalition, setting the stage for a future run by Paul’s son,  U.S. Sen. Rand  Paul.

“100% of Christian leaders that I’ve talked to, do you know the one  thing they like about Ron Paul? His son Rand Paul,” Jacobs told Business  Insider. “Every Christian leader will say, ‘You know I’m not quite sure if Ron  Paul can win the nomination’…but in the same breath, they tag it with, “But I  sure do like the way his son has followed him.’”

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