SBD/August 28, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Farmers Insurance Rolls Out Video Spots Starring Rickie Fowler

A series of Farmers Insurance videos will debut today with Rickie Fowler playing private investigator Dick Fowler, who sniffs out a series of etiquette transgressions on the golf course. Two of the spoofs launch today and two more will come out in October, the company said. In one spot, Fowler uncovers a golfer who does not rake a sand trap, while another features Fowler taking to task a fan whose cell phone rings in a player’s backswing. Farmers' marketing agency in golf, CAA Sports, worked with the company on the planning, while Santa Monica-based RPA assisted Farmers on the creative and production. The four spots run for one minute, 45 seconds on average, and will appear on Farmers’ website and its YouTube channel. Promotion of the Fowler spots began this morning on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” and a flurry of social media hits, including Twitter posts from the Farmers account, Golf Digest, and retweets by Fowler, who has more than 564,000 followers.

TIP OF THE HAT: Farmers first struck a deal to sponsor Fowler in December with branding on the side of the golfer’s hat. Fowler has a head-to-toe apparel deal with Puma, but retained a space on the right side of the hat for his representatives at Wasserman Golf to sell. Farmers started the relationship with Fowler by buying the space on the hat and since then the partnership has expanded to include Fowler in its production. Farmers Head of Sponsorships Chuck Browning said, "When you look past all of Rickie’s colorful (wardrobe) and his golf, you find out what kind of person he is and where you might be able to have some fun with him. In our advertising thematics, we’re talking to the consumer about being smart about their insurance. Be smart and have a plan. In these webisodes, we’re able to take that ‘Be Smart’ message and have some fun with it.” The Farmers branding and tag run at the end of each webisode. “We did something similar in NASCAR (with Kasey Kahne) and the response from consumers was that they like seeing the playful side of these professionals,” said Browning.
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