Who Is That Masked Ginger on Those Tongue-in-Cheek Security Ads?

Wednesday January 13, 2021

Actor Peter Davis as Robbert Larson in a SimpliSafe commercial
Actor Peter Davis as Robbert Larson in a SimpliSafe commercial  

He's become a meme for wearing a mask on the wrong part of his head during the pandemic, and for that ginger mustache that curls in a way that makes every hipster's envious. But who is the guy in those snarky SimpiSafe commercials?

His character's name is Robbert Larson and is described as "a devoted family man whose professional life as self-described 'full time burglar, part time con man' has turned him into a home security aficionado. In a series of recently released spots, Robbert demonstrates practical use cases for SimpliSafe's line of security products in a comical and engaging way," wrote a report on the website The Drum when the campaign began in September, 2019.

Robbert himself is portrayed by ginger actor Peter Davis, who on his website describes himself this way:

"I caught the acting bug when I was in elementary school. Our class was asked to come and be extras in the Sissy Spacek straight-to-video movie 'Trading Moms'. From there I acted in every school play and summer theater production I could get a role in. I eventually grew up and received an MFA in Film and Theater from Syracuse University. After that I moved to the Big Apple and started taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade and T.Schreiber Studios. You might recognize me from such films as 'Eat, Pray, Love,' 'Goldbricks in Bloom,' 'Sylvio' and commercial work like the SimpliSafe campaign where I play your friendly neighborhood burglar 'Robbert Larson'.

"I'm also 1/3 of the directing team Calyer Creative!" Calyer Creative is the directing team behind the ad campaign.

Peter Davis  

"With his tongue-in-cheek quips and slapstick moves, Robbert uses humor to promote SimpliSafe's products — a radically different approach than that taken by typical home security commercials. Robbert spots run with the tagline "Protect Home Like a Pro", cheekily emphasizing the idea that a burglar is one of the best experts on home security," adds The Drum.

In one ad, Robbert is in the bathtub and uses his SimpliSafe Smart Lock to let the pizza boy in to deliver, which immediately brought to mind one of those familiar adult video memes and left us wondering about the cheery Robbert. In another, Robbert catches a different burglar attempting to break into his home, only to be foiled by an entry sensor. "You're losing your touch, Larry!" Robbert jeers.

"We think he's a great brand icon: a burglar so excited about our security system that he [uses it for his home] and recommends it to others," says Don LeBlanc, SimpliSafe new (and first) chief commercial officer in an interview on MediaPost. "We're excited to continue to tell his story, build it out in different ways and educate customers about why our solution is right for them. We've got new creative testing right now.

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