Insurance company Allstate has launched its Holiday Home Decorator, an online game that allows consumers to virtually decorate their own homes.
At the same time, Allstate says the Holiday Home Decorator communicates "how they could overload with too much holiday cheer" and provides tips to avoid potential hazards.
In order to use the Holiday Home Decorator, consumers simply type in their address. A Google Street View image pops up and users can add decorations like lights, candles, trees, presents and snow.
If the address is not available via Google Street View, participants can opt to use a standard house, says Georgina Flores, the director of integrated marketing communications at Allstate.
Mayhem, a brand spokesman of sorts (played by actor Dean Winters), appears "if festivities get out of hand and a preventative tip is provided," a release says. He's triggered by three potential scenarios: fire, theft and frozen pipes, a brand rep adds.
"What happens as you're decorating your home, apartment or whatever address you put in... along the way, Mayhem may come in and mess up whatever you're trying to do," Flores says. "Once that happens, a screen gives you a fact and throws in tips. If it's about overloaded sockets, you typically don't want to plug in more than three into any one outlet when doing Christmas lights. For tips about cold weather, to prevent freezing, you can open cabinet doors and another one is to use a hair dryer around your pipes if they become cold to warm them up a bit."
Tips are shareable on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
The Holiday Home Decorator is part of Allstate's Holiday Home Hazards campaign, which it says revealed that some threats to home security and safety rise significantly during the holiday season.
In fact, according to Allstate, an average of 67,500 homeowners suffer losses during the holiday season each year.
"We have led as a company what we call the Allstate Home Holiday Hazards campaign to raise awareness of security during the holiday season," Flores says. "We use our own claims data about what situations tend to occur during the holidays that cause claims to go up like fire or something with the cold weather like freezing pipes."
The Holiday Home Decorator was borne out of a desire to extend the Home Holiday Hazards campaign into the digital/social realm and create "a new and different way for folks to interact with Allstate and learn about hazards," she adds.
The brand was also careful not to create "a laundry list of insurance tips" so that the site appeals to the broadest possible audience, she says.
The site launched December 16.
Allstate is promoting the Holiday Home Decorator on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and has also provided its agents with tools they can use in their own email and social programs, Flores says.
Allstate has 390,000 fans and has 41,000 followers.
In September, Allstate launched a Twitter handle for Mayhem. As of December 20, @Mayhem has 56,000 followers.
In a press release at the time, Allstate said Mayhem will also appear on Vine and Instagram with content that will work in conjunction with the company's current Facebook and YouTube programs.
Allstate says it is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households.
The brand worked with advertising agency Leo Burnett on the campaign.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014