Great Moments In Commercial History: Lincoln Insurance

There are many fine traditions in the city of Chicago, but our favorite has to be the escalating weirdness among “low cost” auto insurance companies.

Eagle Insurance started it, but when Lincoln Insurance put our 16th president in a prison outfit complete with striped top hat, we knew they had something special.

Here are all of our favorite Lincoln Insurance commercials. Enjoy your SR-22!

If you’d like to nominate a commercial for our weekly series “Great Moments In Commercial History” send us an email at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. Be sure to put “Great Moments In Commercial History” in the subject. To see other commercials that have been featured in the series, click here.


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  1. homerjay says:

    Whats SR22?

  2. randombob says:

    So retarded it’s ridiculous.

    Do people think that this sort of advertising works? I mean for me at least, I see crap like this, i make a mental note: “Do NOT do business with ‘XYZ’ company.”

    Am I the only one? I wouldn’t have thought so, but hey I never asked.

    Rules of Advertising to me:
    1) Don’t talk to me like I’m a 3 y/o. I’ll assume you must want kids that don’t have speaking skills nor money to buy your product. Smart, very smart…. ?

    2) Don’t put out trash that looks like a 3rd grader was in charge. I’ll assume that if you would hire a 3rd grader to do your advertising and think that’s grand, you’re somewhere similar yourself. Maybe 2nd grade? 1st?

    3) Don’t, DO NOT, EVER, not even once, insult my intelligence. If I feel you’ve insulted my intelligence, I’ll just assume that you didn’t actually want my business in the first place.

    What the hell? Talk to me like I’m dumb and then ask me to give you money? Are you serious?

  3. smitty1123 says:

    So, apparently women don’t drive in Chicago.

  4. Sndtrkman says:

    That commercial is just so bad to watch here in Chicago. It just goes to show you that you don’t need a lot of money to produce a crappy spot like that. I still think the Victory Auto Wreckers commercial is far superior than this one (Victory has run the same commercial for over 15 years and it’s still funny to watch).

  5. rekoil says:

    A coworker of mine back in the 90s was a “Gebco Girl” when she was in college – if you lived near Baltimore in the early 90s you know what I’m talking about…

  6. ParadigmABQ says:

    @homerjay: SR22 is insurance for people that have screwed up so badly and so many times that they can’t get regular insurance. It’s also usually astronomical in price.

  7. ARP says:

    Homeerjay and Paradigmabq- Partially true. It’s a standard form that you send to the state to show that you have insurance. Illinois requires that you have minimum insurance coverage. If you are caught without insurance, you get a ticket and you have to provide that document to the state or they’ll suspend your license. I had a situation where I had my old insurance card with me when I got pulled over. I had up to date insurance, but not with me. I had to go get an SR22 sent by Allstate to show that I have insurance. A lot of cut rate insurance companies advertise this because most people looking for their services got caught without insurance or have been dropped from their current insurance for accidents or repeated non-payment.

  8. shan6 says:

    I still can’t get over that creepy furniture store commercial.

  9. UESC says:

    wow, that’s pretty….um, eye catching i guess?
    If I had ADD, i’d love those commercials.

  10. warf0x0r says:

    WOW, just wow!

  11. ParadigmABQ says:

    @ARP: Ahhh, okay, I thought it had to do with state-sponsored insurance, and that was apparently wrong. That’s good to know.

    Only guy I ever knew (and I didn’t know him that well) that had SR22 had several tickets for driving without insurance, a few wrecks without it, and what-not. And at last check, he got into an accident and was begging his sister to come down and say she was driving.

    Good ol’ South Carolina.

  12. Hepcephus says:

    Vern Fonk, please.

  13. Starfury says:

    Why does it seem like the eastern part of the country is plagued with these kind of commercials? Out here on the West coast we don’t seem to get them.

  14. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    I’ve never seen any of those here in Chicago.
    Do they just run them on Channel 26, WCIU or its low powered sister Channel 23, WMEE, neither of which I ever watch.
    Occasionally I’ll see an Eagle Insurance ad, the company that had the male bird produce an egg while two bimbos said, “Look at those low rates”.
    The Lincoln ads are so bad, they make Eagle’s look like Scorsese masterpieces!

  15. Pancakes?? FRENCH TOAST!! says:

    Nobody holds a candle to Vern Fonk.

  16. edwardso says:

    kiiiiisssss my bumper

  17. Sndtrkman says:

    @Starfury: Yeah they this commercial mostly on Channel 26 but sometimes I have seen it pop up on WGN as well.

  18. Sndtrkman says:

    I meant to say “they air this commercial.” Oops my bad.

  19. FatLynn says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: They run primarily on daytime television.

  20. Sixxtwo says:

    Here is the Pacific Northwest’s wacky insurance guy!
    He pwnz all! Vern Fonk! (lol look for the (f)eminem one)


  21. Sixxtwo says:

    *just now looks at sushiwriters comment*


  22. scarletvirtue says:

    Oh yeah – in St. Louis, there were similar commercials for Rodney D. Young and Yellow Key insurance companies. And from what I saw on their websites, Yellow Key also does the same day SR-22; and Rodney D. Young offers month-to-month auto insurance.

    I haven’t really seen anything like that in California, so it’s either a mid-west/east coast thing, or the commercials come on really late at night.

  23. Abor33 says:

    SR-22 is also what you must get after a DUI arrest. Means the insurance company knows that you are potentially a problematic drinker and will adjust your insurance rates accordingly.

    In Colorado you have to get an SR-22 to get your license back after a DUI.