In this beautifully illustrated animation accompanied by a heart wrenching rock ballad by Eli Lieb, a young man playing baseball in the outfield doesn't catch a fly ball. He picks it up with his huge, awkward hand.
As he sits in a coffee shop holding a coffee, his big hand knocks it over clumsily. Embarrassed, he runs out.
On the subway, he waves at a baby whose mother frowns on his monstrous hand. He tries to cover it with a coat as others whisper about him.
He enters an elevator, and someone else with a huge hand holds it open for him. Then they're in an art gallery together.
In a park, they begin to hold hands using the similarly large, single hand that each of them has. The lyrics sing, "So take my hand, let them stare. I'm with you, I don't care. You don't have to run, you don't have to hide, 'cause I've got you…safe in my hands."
Walking together, now confidently, they have each found another like themselves. Text reads, "Being visible should never leave you feeling vulnerable."
Then comes a version of Allstate's longstanding slogan, "Everyone deserves to be in good hands."
The commercial hits several powerful points for gays and lesbians, including the social challenge of being different (although not always "visible"), being vulnerable to danger in society for being different, and struggling to find others like ourselves.
Singer Lieb told Mashable, "I hope that the song, in combination with the film, gives people the strength to be 100 percent their true authentic self and to not be afraid of it. And I hope that it just shows that love is love. Love transcends gender, race, sexuality."
In a dedicated Q&A with AdRespect, Allstate spokesman Chris Bauer provided the following answers:
What led Allstate to produce this commercial in 2014?
Allstate created the “Safe Holding Hands” animated short film because we believe everyone should be treated with respect and without judgment, no matter who they love. Allstate is proud to support the LGBT community and our hope is that the “Out Holding Hands” initiative demonstrates the inclusive nature of the company and shines as an example of tolerance, dignity and community that we all should enjoy.
-What attracts Allstate to the LGBT audience specifically?
We believe that this segment has a unique set of needs that have to be addressed -- in addition to our General Market efforts- through targeted communications and with messaging that is relevant to their daily lives. We want to help them protect all that’s good in their lives.
-Do LGBT consumers buy insurance differently than other groups? Is there any data supporting this? We know that this consumer has different insurance needs and there are Allstate agents in their communities who understand these unique needs and coverage nuances that can help provide them with the right protection.
-What was/were the message/s of the video spot?
Allstate believes that “Everyone deserves to be in good hands.” The tie between holding hands and Allstate’s Good Hands is a natural fit. The concept supports our larger "Good Hands for the Good Life" brand idea by making sure the LGBT community knows that with Allstate and Allstate agents, they can always feel safe and protected. It is part of Allstate’s overarching purpose: helping customers have peace of mind as they build toward their hopes and dreams with the people they love.
-What are Allstate's marketing goals with the spot specifically and with its LGBT integrated campaign overall?
Allstate’s marketing goal is to increase brand affinity for the Allstate brand within the LGBT consumer group. Our strategy behind an integrated marketing campaign was to create something that would help us deliver and expand our reach with this group via digital and social media platforms. All of the campaign elements including print and digital, direct consumers to Allstate.com/lgbt showcasing the film, tips on insurance and providing a list of Allstate agents in their communities.
-How is/was traffic driven to the microsite/YouTube?
We had multiple tactics working in parallel to help drive traffic to the landing page where the film lives, such as paid media, PR and promotional materials developed and distributed at Allstate Pride event sponsorships. Additionally, we had unique digital placements to drive and link the consumers to view the film from the Allstate YouTube channel where the film is also located.
-What is the traffic to the Allstate microsite thus far, to add to the YouTube traffic number you provided?
The Allstate LGBT website as of August 1, 2014, has over 67,000 page views and the film has over 420,000 aggregated views.
-Was there a particular "champion" at Allstate behind the LGBT campaign?
There is not one particular champion at Allstate but a shared passion for equality among the key Multicultural Marketing team who work on the program, the Allstate PRIDE employee resource group and the 1,200+ Allstate agents countrywide who are featured on the Allstate LGBT website who are supporters of the communities.