State Farm is building out the all-star NBA lineup in its "Born to Assist" campaign with a new ad launching on Christmas Day.
The ad, "Best of the Assist" was handled by Translation, New York and extends the idea that Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was separated at birth from his twin, the fictional Cliff Paul, who assists people off the field as a State Farm agent. This time around, Chris and Cliff aren't the only set of twins. Cliff is tapped for State Farm's National Bureau of Assists team, where he meets the fictional twins of retired Utah Jazz NBA assist-leader, John Stockton, Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard, Seattle Storm's Sue Bird and Golden Gate Warriors' Stephen Curry. The ad is set to air during the Washington Wizards versus New York Knicks game.
The push, called "The Future of the Assist," includes the 60-second spot that showcases the National Bureau of Assists, as well as a 30-second spot, "Seen It All," featuring Mr. Stockton. Additional 30-second spots are set to roll out during the 2014 – 2015 NBA season. It is the third series in the campaign, which launched three years ago.
"We've been building this storyline for three years," said Patty Morris, director of marketing and brand content at State Farm.
The ads highlight State Farm's biggest assets, its agents, and draw comparisons between their work and an important aspect of basketball -- assists. "It aligns a true aspect of State Farm with a true element of the game in a very creative way," said John Norman, chief creative officer at Translation.
The campaign has seen success on social media. Mr. Paul's fictional twin, Cliff, has more than 32,000 followers on Twitter and more than 80,000 followers on Instagram. His social presence has also garnered more than 70 million impressions since December 2013, according to State Farm. Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin spoofed the ad on YouTube.
"In this environment, it's so critical to be authentic and relevant," said Ms. Morris. "It's not super often that you develop a story line that can live for as long as this one has, and to come into this season and for it to feel as fresh as it does is fantastic."
Although State Farm said it was pausing its relationship with the Los Angeles Clippers after now-former owner Don Sterling made allegedly racist comments earlier this year, Ms. Morris said it did not influence the insurer's decision to tap more athletes for the ads. "We moved past that pretty quickly," she said.