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Chris Paul Stinks in New State Farm Commercial

By Published on .

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State Farm is taking its six-year NBA sponsorship into a new zone. On Christmas Day, the Bloomington, Ill.-based insurer is unveiling a new basketball-led promotion as well as an additional spot in its latest campaign starring Los Angeles Clippers player Chris Paul. State Farm is also collaborating with Yahoo Sports beginning this month.

The latest 30-second commercial juxtaposes Mr. Paul and other athletes on the basketball court "setting a trap" with those same athletes setting a very different kind of trap to corral skunks that have invaded a home. The stinky scene culminates with a nose-holding State Farm agent reassuring Mr. Paul. A voiceover says, "Talk to an agent for help combining your home and auto into a plan that's right for you." New York-based Translation worked on the new Chris Paul campaign, which includes two other spots that ran earlier this month and in September. The company has worked with the athlete for five years.

Also on Dec. 25, State Farm is running a new "Right Combination" promotion, where consumers can use NBA trivia knowledge at TheRightCombination.com to win a trip to NBA's All-Star Saturday in New Orleans on Feb. 18. Basketball fans can physically unlock lockers at four different on-site activations as well—the first time the brand is doing a physical combination of this kind.

This month, State Farm is also connecting with Yahoo Sports on a new campaign with custom integrations, including video, native and display advertising. The insurer will also sponsor Yahoo's sports hub "The Vertical with Woj" hosted by Adrian Wojnarowski.

"There are parallels between basketball and insurance that we've highlighted for many years," said Patty Morris, director of brand content and development at State Farm. "Basketball is just one way we connect with consumers."

State Farm worked with the Marketing Arm on the new promotion.

"Our goal is to shift the State Farm brand perception by engaging with NBA fans and showcasing that good things happen when you have the right combination," said Brad Daca, VP-account service at Dallas-based agency.

Earlier this year, State Farm unveiled a new tagline, "Here to Help Life Go Right," and a marketing reframe as the brand strives to broaden its message beyond help after accidents. Ms. Morris said early feedback of the shift has been positive and the brand has seen an increase in awareness of its new messaging. The insurer spent roughly $542.7 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Ad Age's Datacenter.