State Farm's Latest Push Shows It's Not Just an Auto Insurer

Insurer Wants to Broaden the Conversation Around Its Brand

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State Farm's latest campaign goes beyond auto insurance to offer solutions for life. The push, which captures moments like getting married or dropping a child off at college, is part of an effort to expand the conversation around the brand to include all of its products and services.

State Farm is widely known for auto insurance -- it was the top private passenger auto insurer last year, in terms of premiums written with 18.5% market share, according to the Insurance Information Institute -- but it also offers financial services, like retirement plans and estate planning, as well as products like life and health insurance.

"It's important for us to shift the way people think about us instead of just reinforcing what they already think," said Patty Morris, director-marketing and brand content at State Farm. "It's all about the balance."

The second ad in the series, "At Last," which launched last night on ABC, features a couple that is beginning their second marriage. While "Never," the campaign's first spot," follows a man, who said he'll never marry, as he starts a family.

"We want to really connect with people based on where they're at in their lives," said Ms. Morris.

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"They show things working out, but not how you planned," added John Maxham, chief creative officer at DDB. "Theres a great human truth to that. And State Farm is there with you to handle these twists and turns."

Future spots in the campaign will include a young man moving out of his parent's home and a woman who is retiring earlier than expected because of shrewd financial planning. The series will roll out over the next six to eight months, putting the full body of work in the market by the second quarter of 2015.

State Farm's creative agency, DDB Chicago, drew inspiration for the spots from some of its team's own life experiences. "These were actually based on experiences that our creatives were familiar with, and they were able to draw on that," said Mr. Maxham, who said that helped them capture more honest and relatable moments.

The ads are more emotional than some of State Farm's recent work, like its "Discount Double Check" ads featuring SNL alums Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon alongside Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

As for State Farm's Super Bowl plans, Ms. Morris said the company will continue looking for ways to extend its campaign with Mr. Rodgers. But "it gets a little sticky when he's in the thick of the season," she said. "We'll continue to look for opportunities into the playoffs and the Super Bowl."

DDB New York, Translation, Alma, State Farm's Hispanic agency -- and Ad Age's 2014 multicultural agency of the year -- and InterTrend, its Asia agency-of-record, also worked on the campaign.

Ms. Morris declined to comment on the budget.

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