State Farm Pushes Post-Holiday Volunteering in New Campaign

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The holidays are over, and now the hard part begins for nonprofits and charity organizations in need of volunteers. In a New Year's push, State Farm makes the case that January ushers in a difficult time for such organizations, which see a dramatic drop off in participation after the new year rolls around.

The ad is for the company's Neighborhood of Good platform, which shows volunteer opportunities by zip code, and which the Bloomington, Illinois-based insurer debuted in March. Called "Don't You," it's designed to encourage viewers to renew their charity-focused efforts. The 60-second commercial shows a soup kitchen bustling with holiday cheer, plentiful plates and lots of help as a man sings "Don't You Forget About Me" on a piano. As he sings, the scene shifts to one after New Year's. The differences are stark: tables are empty of food, few volunteers are present and the those in need of help appear disheartened. "The season of giving ends, but the need remains," reads text at the end of the spot.

The giving platform's first ad, "The Following," which ran in March, was a two-minute film about a man who finds peace from the world's more horrific headlines by volunteering. has received approximately a million visitors to date, according to Rand Harbert, chief agency, sales and marketing officer at 96-year-old company, including a spike of visitors around the time of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida earlier this year.

"After the calendar holiday season, the need for giving never goes away," says Harbert. "It's a branding opportunity for us, but really [it's] to remind people whatever they do, big or small, they can make a difference in the communities they live in. That's important, because we have agents in most of those communities living right beside them."

"Don't You," whch features actor-singer Willis Earl Beal, runs through February. A robust social media and digital effort supplements the TV spot.

State Farm worked with its lead agency DDB Chicago on the new offering.

In addition to its charity-focused efforts, State Farm recently began a new campaign, "Get an Agent That Gets You." On Dec. 25, the insurer debuted "Grand Tour," which featured spokesman Chris Paul along with Houston Rockets teammates James Harden and Trevor Ariza, and the Backstreet Boys.

In 2016, State Farm spent $700.2 million on measured media, a 9 percent rise over 2015, according to Ad Age's Datacenter.

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