Watch: State Farm's CMO on marketing amid crises
Welcome to Ad Age Remotely, a streamed segment focusing on the issues of the day.
As protests against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of George Floyd continue across the country, many brands are speaking out. Earlier this week, State Farm issued a statement on its social channels.
Rand Harbert, chief marketing officer of the Bloomington, Illinois-based insurer, joins Ad Age Remotely to talk about how the brand has adjusted its strategy following the social crisis and also addresses State Farm's marketing pivots during COVID-19.
The lack of live sports during the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in the marketing plans of the majority of marketers—particularly insurers like State Farm that invest heavily in athletic events to boost their brands. However, State Farm has been able to creatively show up where consumers are paying attention. The brand recently sponsored the ESPN Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance,” as well as a reunion special of popular sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”
Early on, State Farm—the largest car insurer in the country—was one of several brands to offer auto insurance rebates to customers on lockdown who were driving less. The company communicated the news to consumers through a commercial employees filmed at home. State Farm recently said it is cutting auto insurance rates nationwide by 11 percent on average, a huge cut that may ignite a price war with competitors.