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State Farm Marketing Head on Kelce-Swift Stunt: Unlocking the 'Lightning-in-a-Bottle' Marketing Phenomenon

State Farm has been expanding its media strategy to engage young customers, using digital and mobile channels like TikTok and esports. The insurance company has also signed a name, image, and likeness deal with college basketball player Caitlin Clark and capitalized on fan excitement around Taylor Swift and NFL player Travis Kelce's relationship. State Farm's Head of Marketing, Alyson Griffin, discusses the company's marketing approach and plans for Q4.

State Farm, the insurance company, has been refining its media strategy to engage a young audience and build loyalty among future insurance customers. The company has prioritized digital and mobile channels, such as TikTok and esports, and has expanded its roster of agencies, including High Dive. These moves have allowed for more marketing experimentation, including signing its first name, image, and likeness deal with college athlete Caitlin Clark and capitalizing on the relationship between Taylor Swift and NFL player Travis Kelce. State Farm's Head of Marketing, Alyson Griffin, discussed these initiatives, marketing to Gen Z, and upcoming plans in Q4.

Griffin explained that State Farm categorizes its marketing into three distinct areas: capturing current demand, generating future demand, and retention and customer loyalty. The company has partnered with Home Depot, an unlikely pairing at first glance, but one that aligns data and offers customers the State Farm brand. State Farm sees itself as a cutting-edge insurance brand, recognizing the importance of retail media and meeting customers where they already are.

Griffin also discussed the Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce partnership, explaining that it was a lightning-in-a-bottle moment. State Farm had an existing relationship with Kelce and partnered with Ryan Reynolds' agency, Maximum Effort, to ensure the collaboration was appropriate and well-received by Swift. The company took a bold move by seizing the opportunity quickly, something not typical in the insurance industry, but with the right checks and balances in place, State Farm minimized the risk.

State Farm aims to be part of culture and plans to continue leveraging its assets, such as Jake from State Farm and its iconic jingle, to engage customers and potential customers. The company recognizes the importance of doubling down on these assets and tailoring them to different audiences, as evidenced by Jake's appearances at TwitchCon and BravoCon. State Farm's recent stunt with Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce generated significant earned media and social engagement, with the performance of TV spots increasing by 15 times after the stunt. The company will continue to seize opportunities while being mindful of when to enter and exit the conversation.

In terms of creative agencies, State Farm has expanded its roster to bring in different perspectives and ideas. While the current agencies are performing well, State Farm believes that adding new voices and working with other agencies is beneficial. The company has already shot the first batch of holiday ads and will be focusing on its iconic jingle, adding a fun twist and featuring various singers.

Overall, State Farm is dedicated to engaging a young audience, embracing new media channels, and staying at the forefront of marketing and media trends. The company is committed to meeting customers where they are and building lasting relationships through innovative and strategic initiatives.

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