Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Shouldn't Be There

Let's all sing along, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm ...."

I bet you finished that sentence without even thinking about it, right?

State Farm Insurance has promised you they would be your good neighbor for as long as I can remember. Their commercials evoked feelings of caring and support and always being there when the unexpected occurs.

That is, until recently, when their new campaign broke.  And, boy, what a departure they have made from their past.

State Farm's new ad campaign takes their brand down a completely different path. Or in my opinion, down a cold, dark alley.

Some choice lines of copy include:

"I told you you were too close, but nobody ever listens to me.  No, no, no, no, no. Who does that? Back their car into another car?  You know what? You make my head numb. I can't even .... uh!"

At this point in the commercial, her companion begins to sing, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" in an off-key, half talking-half singing voice. And - presto - the State Farm agent magically appears, in between the two ... as if to act as a mediator.

As the agent promises to take care of the accident, the woman asks for a new boyfriend. Suddenly, her boyfriend is shirtless, with ripped muscles hanging out for all to see. When he asks the agent to return the favor for him, his girlfriend is magically transformed into a sexy woman, who is scantily clothed in a low neckline shirt and short shorts.

This is one of the few times in my life that I am actually speechless. State Farm has completely turned their brand on its head.  What a departure from the neighborly feel-good ads of the last decade!

Maybe they were trying to be funny.  But, that begs the question, why would any insurance company want to turn an auto accident into a joke?

I'm stumped.

You just watched the commercial - please share your thoughts on what you think State Farm Insurance was trying  to do with this ad...


  1. I like it! It has a Jeep in it!

  2. I thought the commercial was very funny. It was high time that State Farm competed with Geico, Allstate and Progressive in advertising!

  3. They are certainly memorable ... and many people I have talked to really like the campaign.

  4. get a sense of humor

  5. I get that a lot of insurance companies are using funny hooks to get people to think about something normally so unsexy (i.e. Flo at Progressive, the Geico gecko and Cavemen), but I think in some cases, the ads have gotten away from the product and this ad is just another one that's guilty of tangential storylines.

    I love Flo at Progressive because while she's funny, she's always talking about her actual products. The "Can Geico really save you 15% or more on you car insurance? Was honest Abe too honest?" guy is obnoxious and has nothing to do with the product.

    Flo is tops, as well as the Farmers "University" Professor played by JK Simmons. His ads are funny, but they talk about how committed the company is to training their employees.

  6. Great analysis Kate! Thanks for your comments.

  7. Remember, the intruder will select the door that looks easiest to break into and that offers the least chance of being seen. Charlotte State Farm Insurance


Sue Northey - Find me on Bloggers.com