- Insurance giant State Farm is bringing back its iconic tagline “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.”
- State Farm stopped using the campaign in 2016 under its former agency-of-record DDB but brought it back under its new agency The Marketing Arm.
- State Farm said its research found the old tagline had high trust, recognition and favorability across people of all ages.
- State Farm said it’s also spending more ad dollars on streaming platforms, including NBCUniversal’s forthcoming Peacock, where it’s a launch sponsor.
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For 45 years, State Farm pitched itself as the “good neighbor” who stands by you when things go wrong — before retiring it in 2016 under its former agency-of-record DDB.
Now, in an about-face, the Bloomington, Illinois-based company and the country’s largest insurance provider is launching a new brand campaign that brings back the tagline “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There” as well as the spokesperson character “Jake from State Farm.”
State Farm reintroduced Jake played by actor Kevin Mimms in a 30-second pre-game teaser on Super Bowl Sunday and is launching a new marketing push during the NBA All-Star Weekend. This marks a shift from the “Here to Help Life Go Right,” tagline that it launched in 2016, which polled poorly.
The strategy shift follows State Farm shifting its creative work to Omnicom’s The Marketing Arm from its longtime agency DDB, also part of Omnicom. This is The Marketing Arm’s first piece of work for State Farm.
‘”We want to make our advertising work as hard as possible for us in this hyper-competitive category,” Patty Morris, State Farm’s assistant VP of marketing and brand, told Business Insider. “The data and research pointed us toward some of the familiar assets, which caused us to go back to the drawing board and rethink our strategy.”
The tagline was brought back after months of consumer research
DDB created the “Like a Good Neighbor” ads under its predecessor Needham, Harper & Steers and it blew up in the 1970s, thanks to a jingle written by pop star Barry Manilow.
State Farm did almost six months of consumer research that showed the old tagline had high trust, recognition and favorability across age groups, Morris said. Ninety percent of respondents recognized the tagline and associated it with State Farm.
While the new marketing push will have familiar elements, State Farm tried to make sure it’s up to date.
For example, the forthcoming spot “Not the One” will show Jake comforting a contestant who was just cut from a reality TV dating show, quipping that unlike the bachelorette in question, like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. The company will also continue its creative work with NBA player Chris Paul and adapt the jingle to develop a sonic logo, Morris said.
State Farm is diversifying its ad spend, and streaming is getting more important
Advertisers like State Farm have moved away from the traditional agency-of-record model in recent years where they hire one agency to handle their advertising business and are increasingly working with multiple agencies on a short-term basis.
State Farm is also using new channels in its advertising like over-the-top streaming platforms, which make up 20% of ad spend, with the rest about equally divided between linear TV and digital, Morris said. Among other things, it’s a launch sponsor for Peacock, NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service, which guarantees it exclusivity in the insurance category for 18 months.
“It’s not just about our advertising and messaging, but also understanding media consumption and making sure we’re approaching that in a modern way,” Morris said. “Peacock allows us to really test out different ad formats and interactivity with branded content and think about reinventing and defining the ad experience in a streaming environment.”
SEE ALSO: tate Farm becomes the latest marketer to drop the classic ad-agency-of-record model after cutting its marketing budget by 15%
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