State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the U.S. and over the last couple of years, have spent millions of dollars on some memorable advertising. Last year, State Farm spent $524.6 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.
Remember Jake from State Farm or Aaron Rodgers and Discount Double Check? State Farm is back with their latest commercial, Following.
State Farm is releasing a Neighborhood of Good platform, which will connect consumers to charitable opportunities in their towns. During the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, they released the following commercial:
Instantly I was paying attention to the commercial because I heard The Chainsmokers. I thought it was very clever to slow the song down and only play the vocals. It’s actually a cover version of The Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down,” by Joy Williams. If you listen to the lyrics, they flow with the ad seamlessly. I absolutely love how that’s the only thing you can hear, except a puppy whimpering here and there. The actor’s body language tells you all you need to know. The whole ad flows perfectly.
However, I’m not in the market to buy insurance, so I question their song choice. I love it, but does their target market love it? Their target market should be Millennials. Does State Farm actually believe Millennials listen to The Chainsmokers? If they do, that’s news to me.
This ad tugs at my heartstrings. The puppy looks so sad and lonely. How could you possibly leave him alone? Veterans sacrificed their lives for our country. How could you ignore them, let alone let them suffer on the streets? And that poor kid. Kids without an education are grilled cheese without the cheese! It just doesn’t make sense. It’s very emotional and easily gets the message across.
As great of a commercial this is, what does it have to do with people buying State Farm insurance? It clearly sets them apart from other insurance companies, but it doesn’t make viewers want to buy State Farm insurance. I was utterly shocked when I first watched this and saw that it was State Farm.
I had the opportunity to hear from an actual State Farm Agent, Jason Beck, who gave me his view on the ad.
“I thought that it was a really great commercial, very compelling. However, I don’t really think that it relates to State Farm. It reminded me of the Budweiser commercial at the Super Bowl with the family crossing the border. What did that have to do with beer? Great commercials, but not relevant to the company.”
“I don’t think that it really helps us grow as a company. GEICO has a call to action every time they do a commercial. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. It says to pick up the phone, we can save you money. This ad doesn’t say anything about what we offer as a company. This is a great way to set us apart, but I don’t think that they will volunteer and then say, “Gee I’m going to get a quote from State Farm now.” This seems to be a theme now like the Melissa McCarthy Kia commercials on saving the Whales and Icecaps.”
Jason also shared what his Millennial co-worker thought of the new spot:
“My team member Lauren, who is a Millennial, said that she thought it was an awesome commercial until she saw that it was State Farm and it kind of made her sick after that.”
“State Farm has stepped up their game as far advising goes. When I started [as an agent] 8 years ago no one had really ever seen a State Farm commercial. Now I have people all the time making jokes about Jake from State Farm. Also, when they say the jingle, I should suddenly appear.”
This is a great commercial but is totally irrelevant to State Farm. Like Jason said, this won’t drive new customers in the door. I’m not sure State Farm even knows who they are targeting. But this commercial sure as hell made me want to volunteer.
The next ad I will be reviewing is Ostrich by Samsung. This should be a fun one, as it involves the new Galaxy S8.