From late-night phone calls to buckets of ice: Social media has potential

Jake from State Farm ad
By Allison Mabry   |   October 2, 2014

There’s a commercial my family stops to watch on the DVR every single time it comes on. It’s the “It’s Jake, from State Farm” commercial, which actually started running way back in 2011! There’s just something hilarious about the wife catching her husband making a 3 a.m. call to his insurance agent and mistakenly saying, “She sounds hideous”—prompting his deadpan response, “Well, she’s a guy.” The misunderstanding feels just so universal.

Anyway, late last year, I noticed a little @JakeStateFarm twitter handle displayed in the lower corner of the screen. So, of course, I had to start following him. And I’m not alone. At current count, “Jake” has about 25,000 followers.

Turns out, the @JakeStateFarm twitter feed is filled mostly with tweets about people wearing khakis (one of the main gags of the commercial). But what caught our attention here at DeLaune is that the social media campaign did just that—it caught our attention. As another agency put it, the commercial is an example of big brands doing social media right.

In particular, we like how the State Farm social media campaign:

  • Connects with a new generation of potential customers
  • Brings new life to old messaging
  • Creates a channel for distributing future content

 

But that all sounds so serious. Isn’t social media mainly a place for sharing pictures of your kids (guilty!) and funny cat videos (well, I’m partial to dogs)?

Actually, you may have heard of another hugely successful social media campaign. The recent Ice Bucket Challenge for the ALS Association may have had its pros and cons, but no one can argue with its amazing donation results. The campaign generated more than $115 million in new donations for research into a disease that’s largely overlooked by the major pharmaceutical firms. We thought it was a great example of social media actually making a difference.

So, from an altruistic standpoint and a business one, we work hard at DeLaune to help our clients make the most of the social media opportunity, writing suggested tweets for each piece of IBM collateral we create, posting videos to Youtube for banking clients and more. We like to look for new ways to help extend a brand’s reach. Because with this new social world, brands can create new content experiences, engage with people in new ways and inspire them to do what they normally wouldn’t do, from actually watching an old TV commercial to making a donation. We call that #PrettyExciting.

by Barbara Goutelon

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About the Author

Allison oversees the development of design projects from concept to completion. From web design to print ads, Allison's 15 years of experience and keen eye help convey each client's message with clarity and creativity. Allison was designated an Associate of DeLaune and Associates in 2008.

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