State Farm’s “Following” Encourages Volunteerism

Since being released a few days ago, State Farm’s two-minute film “Following”, created by DDB Chicago, has racked up nearly four million views on YouTube. It centers on a melancholy man riding on the subway, who sees a pet adoption ad with a dog’s picture. Suddenly, that same dog is sitting right next to him. The pup ends up following the man to work, and we see him going about his day. He encounters a “Support the Vets” ad on Facebook, and then the vet appears, playing with the dog. At lunch, the man sees a news story featuring a young dropout, and then sees the dropout himself. He’s being followed (almost haunted) by those in need, and can’t get them out of his mind. What can he do? Well, the answer comes towards the end of the spot…he goes to a Youth Outreach Mentoring Center to volunteer.

This is the type of ad that seems like it could be polarizing. Many will find it moving and meaningful, while others might see the storytelling as heavy-handed, bleeding heart sentimentality. Honestly, I can see it both ways. But I think the central message, about the importance of volunteerism, is undeniably strong. So what you do think? By the way, the song is a cover of The Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down” performed by Joy Williams. Here’s a good article about the spot from Advertising Age.

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Tuesday Throwback: State Farm Doesn’t Think You Should Believe Everything On The Internet

Fake news has been all over the real news lately. In this 2012 State Farm commercial (one of the most popular posts I’ve written on this blog), we’re reminded that not everything on the Internet is true. Useful advice. Mariel Booth plays the woman, Nigel Thatch plays Mike, and Eric Filipkowski is the “French Model.”

State Farm: This Suede Couch Is Admired Both By Its Owner And By Burglars

It’s a nice couch, and who doesn’t love suede? It’s a chuckler how the woman and her friend have the exact same conversation about the piece as the burglars who steal it. The owner of the couch is played by Meryl Hathaway, and when I found of the identities of the others, I’ll add that too.

State Farm Is Now Here To Help Life Go Right

State Farm is introducing a new campaign, maybe to differentiate itself from the jokey advertising that is common with competitors like Geico and Progressive. The campaign comes with the tagline “Here to Help Life Go Right.” An introductory anthem ad debuted yesterday, and has already racked up more than 2 million views. It’s visually nice and the music that comes in halfway through sounds good, but I just find it to be a bit boring. State Farm and DDB Chicago have done some excellent work though, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Interested to see where this campaign is going.

State Farm: A Father And His College-Bound Daughter Share A Selfie And A Goodbye

Though I’m closer in life to being dropped off at college rather than dropping off a hypothetical kid at college, this one still hits hard. I’m thinking many new empty nesters will get choked up by this State Farm commercial. The daughter is played by Andrea Ellsworth, and the father is Dan Martin.

State Farm’s “Never” Commercial

It’s a pretty cute commercial made by DDB Chicago. The man keeps saying he’ll never do different things…like get married, have kids, move to the suburbs, buy a minivan, and have another kid. Of course, he ends up doing all those things. Finally, he’s with his wife and kids and says “I’ll never let go.” If you’re a cynical type, you might say that he will let go, since he did all the “never” events. That would really put a dark twist on it, although I don’t see the commercial that way. It’s a nice message that life doesn’t always turn out according to plan, because people develop and plans change. I’m not sure who the actor playing the man is, but the wife is Arielle Vandenberg.

State Farm: Hans And Franz Do Their Best To Pump Up Aaron Rodgers

Hans and Franz were classic Saturday Night Live characters portrayed by Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon. Although I was a little too young to remember the sketch when it was actually on, it was so popular that it stayed in the collective consciousness for a long, long time. Now State Farm is has a commercial featuring Hans and Franz pumping up the ever-unexcited Aaron Rodgers. I think this one is a lot funnier than last year’s SNL throwback, featuring the Superfans. State Farm has really gotten a lot of mileage out of Aaron Rodgers and the catchy Discount Double Check.

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