State Farm conjures celebrities for biggest creative launch in 3 years

Dive Brief:

  • State Farm is rolling out its biggest creative effort in three years with a focus on its jingle and a cadre of famous faces, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • “The Right Kind of Magic” shows consumers reacting to situations that call for insurance with phrases like “That’s ludicrous!” Saying these words magically summons a related celebrity, e.g., rapper Ludacris, who turns to State Farm and brand mascot Jake to provide actual help.
  • Developed with agency Highdive, the campaign will begin airing on Thanksgiving across broadcast, streaming, digital, social and radio. State Farm will push a second wave of ads around the NBA, WNBA and NCAA seasons, with new work from Highdive and Translation premiering Christmas day.

Dive Insight:

“The Right Kind of Magic” is State Farm’s biggest creative launch since 2020 but leans into themes that should be familiar to many consumers. The campaign puts a renewed focus on the brand’s recognizable “Like a Good Neighbor” jingle and mascot Jake from State Farm, a character who was re-introduced as part of a creative refresh three years ago and has developed a devoted following of his own.

State Farm is pairing those brand assets with a roster of celebrity partners, including Ludacris, Jimmy Fallon and college basketball star Caitlin Clark, the latter of whom is part of the company’s first name, image and likeness deal. The new ads mark the first output of longer-term relationships with both Fallon and Clark, according to a press release. This is also State Farm’s first major work from agency Highdive since adding the indie shop to its creative roster in July.

Spots rolling out around the Thanksgiving holiday play on the images of State Farm’s ambassadors in a lighthearted manner. “You’re Joking,” which goes live Thursday, shows a teenage girl being gifted a car by her father, leading her to exclaim, “Are you joking?” This response summons Fallon in a genie-like fashion, with the frazzled late-night host still in a bathrobe and brushing his teeth. Fallon launches into a bit before realizing that the family is actually in need of car insurance, not jokes, leading him to sing the State Farm jingle and bring Jake into the picture.

“This is Ludicrous,” airing on Black Friday, follows a similar plot: A couple returns home to find their kitchen in disarray due to a broken sink faucet, causing one of them to shout, “This is ludicrous!” Ludacris emerges from thin air, acknowledging that the situation is indeed ludicrous and that he can’t actually provide any assistance.

State Farm is ramping up its marketing ahead of the holiday rush and as sports leagues, including the NBA and NFL, enter the thick of their seasons. The company is trying to position itself at the intersection of sports and consumer culture on the backs of brand assets like its jingle, marketing chief Kristyn Cook said in a statement.

The insurance firm has made tapping into culture a bigger mandate to connect with young consumers. Earlier this fall, it paired Jake from State Farm with Donna Kelce, the mom of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, for a social media stunt that riffed on the NFL athlete’s headline-grabbing relationship with Taylor Swift.

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