SBD/December 19, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

State Farm To Launch "Born To Assist" Campaign Featuring Clippers G Chris Paul

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Paul's first State Farm TV commercial will debut during Christmas Day NBA games
State Farm on Christmas Day is "introducing an advertising campaign" featuring Clippers G Chris Paul called "Born to Assist," according to Andrew Adam Newman of the N.Y. TIMES. Paul led the NBA in assists in the '07-08 and '08-09 seasons, and State Farm's campaign "promotes its agents as being willing to assist, too.” A new commercial “takes a separated-at-birth approach, opening with a scene from 1985 of Chris Paul in a crib beside his fictional identical twin brother, ‘Cliff.’” A voice-over says, “Despite their dissimilar upbringings, they shared one invaluable trait. They were both born to assist.” The boys are then “played at different ages by a series of actors.” Contemporary footage “shows Chris Paul in his Clippers uniform hustling down a court, while Cliff (now, naturally, played by Paul, in glasses, a fake mustache, an argyle sweater vest and a bow tie), who has become a State Farm agent, assists a woman whose car has been hit and tosses doughnuts to co-workers in a State Farm office.” The commercial, by Translation, N.Y., will debut on Christmas Day, running “widely during NBA games on networks including ESPN and TNT.” Spending for the new campaign is "estimated at $35 million to $40 million." The 30- and 60-second versions of the commercial will run on TV, while 15-second versions "will run online on Web sites including YouTube and ESPN.com.” The new campaign will run “concurrently" with commercials featuring Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who began appearing in spots for the insurer in ‘11. State Farm VP/Marketing Pam El said that advertising to NBA fans “enabled the insurer to highlight its on-the-ground insurance agents to a youthful, diverse group of consumers” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/19).
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