The PJ Tatler

Either This is the Dumbest Insurance Ad Ever, or Americans Are Becoming Really Horrible Drivers

Liberty Mutual is running a series of ads on their accident forgiveness program. The program itself makes sense — one accident doesn’t mean that you’re a risky driver and deserve to have your rates go up. “Nobody’s perfect,” says this ad which explains the program very well, in fact. It’s probably the best ad of the series. Solid writing, sound idea, very good delivery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dExU28OChOI

But the ad below… It’s terrible. It posits that you can be so bad at parallel parking that you can do extensive damage to someone else’s car and yet you won’t have to worry about your insurance rates going up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnS0tSO4TcQ

The actress, whose flat delivery all but kills the brief ad, says “You’re good a lot of things, but parallel parking isn’t one of them.” In fact, you’re so bad that “it’s only a matter of time before you rip some guy’s bumper off.”

Really? “Rip some guy’s bumper off?” If you’re that bad at parallel parking, you might be a menace to society.

How much force does it take to rip the bumper off of a stationary car? The answer depends on a whole lot of variables, but it’s probably “a lot of force. More force than you should be using during any attempt at parallel parking, when you’re probably going a max of 5 mph.” Enough that a competent driver ought to feel a tug and hear noises before they give their own car enough gas to rip the bumper off of another car.

When you rip some guy’s bumper off, the ad gives you two alternatives: Take the bus, or get Liberty Mutual insurance. Because Liberty Mutual doesn’t care if you can drive competently at all, as long as you’re paying your premiums.

Might I suggest two more alternatives to this dangerous parallel parker? They are: Learn how to parallel park, because cars belonging to to other people, and others who are also insured with Liberty Mutual, will depend on you to be competent behind the wheel; or quit driving, because the lives of innocent people may depend on it.