State of Confusion — State Farm Advertising

What is going on with State Farm? Do they understand brand?

They have a bunch of commercials out, but there seems to be no overall strategy. Okay, I admit, I think they have one, based on their “See the ways State Farm gets you to a better state” tagline. But, does it work?

Other than their tagline, there’s no obvious link to their currently airing commercials. You’d have to know each commercial’s title to even think they’re linked.

State of Chaos

First, and probably most offensive, is their blatant (and poor) ripoff of Allstate’s tight stream of Mayhem commercials. See what you think of State Farm’s State of Chaos.

State of Anonymity

This ad is an example of how you’d need to know the title to catch the link. Plus, it’s also much more different and serious in tone than all the other “State” commercials.

Their YouTube copy under this video gives a great explanation of the thinking behind the ads. Unfortunately, the ads aren’t cohesive enough to give you that same impression.

State Farm's explanation of their theory behind these commercials

There’s also State of Unrest, which has a wife catching her husband talking to their State Farm agent at 3:00 a.m. And State of Confusion may be their silliest yet, showing men walking down the street with odd items (knight’s armor, a falcon) they bought with money they saved from State Farm.

State of Imitation

And finally, there are the relatively new commercials with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the “discount double-check.” I love Aaron Rodgers, but this one is almost as goofy as the falcon ad.

So now you’ve seen all (well, most) of the evidence. What is your verdict? Smart marketing or complete state of chaos?

Oh yeah, and don’t forget, their Magic Jingle ads are still airing too. People in trouble sing “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” and their agent appears, ready to help.

Maybe I’m biased—I do love Allstate’s Mayhem ads. But I just think State Farm’s strategy is all over the place right now. And I don’t think “Get to a better state” is resonating enough because of that.


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