First, Staples had its "Easy" button. Now State Farm has a "Why" button. People can click it endlessly on the insurance company's new microsite for reasons why they should get a State Farm agent.
Offering the reasons is comedian Ben Posner, whose mannerisms are a bit like those of actor Seth Rogen. The microsite is simple in that there are only three options: the big red "Why" button; a field to fill in with ZIP code to get a quote; and a similar field to fill in with ZIP code to find a local agent. Posner's answers to the "Why" query also are featured on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg6AQUysNiI.
State Farm is running two humorous TV spots to promote the microsite. The "magic jingle" spots show how, when in a jam, State Farm customers can simply sing the insurance company's familiar jingle "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" and their insurance agent instantly appears to help them.
The spots are currently in consumer testing and will run until early fall, says State Farm Director of Marketing Tim Van Hoof. "Online is in the works, and there will be more unfolding across a variety of platforms in the coming weeks and months," Van Hoof tells Marketing Daily. New TV spots with the same theme will break in the fall, he adds. Depending on how Posner resonates with consumers, his presence could be expanded to social media, he adds.
The spots are geared to people ages 18-25, some of whom may not be very familiar with the brand, Van Hoof says. The goal of the effort is to "contemporize" the brand by "leveraging a jingle that everyone knows," he adds.
In "Magic Jingle Parking Lot," three women return to their car to find the fender has been sideswiped in their absence. The car's owner sings the jingle and her agent magically appears to help her handle the situation. Her friends try the jingle themselves and conjure up a "hot" guy, a sensitive guy and then a guy with a "dark side." The agent orders "dark side" to get his feet off the car's bumper. The spots ends with the call-to-action: "Find out what else State Farm agents can do for you at whyagent.com."
"Magic Jingle Hot Tub" features three guys whose TV viewing is interrupted when a window gets broken. The owner sings the jingle to summon his agent, and his friends then order up a sandwich, an attractive neighbor and finally, a hot tub.
The spots are a departure for State Farm, says Jeremy Bowler, senior director, global insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "It's inventive how they've honored their tagline 'Like A Good Neighbor' while bringing it into the 21st Century," Bowler tells Marketing Daily. "My guess is that this marketing execution will live or die based on the reaction of the Millennial audience that State Farm and every other U.S. personal auto insurer is pursuing."