Not content with being the only good neighbor on the block, State Farm wants its customers and potential customers to volunteer in their communities. The Bloomington, Ill.-based marketer, the largest auto insurer in the U.S., is debuting its Neighborhood of Good platform, which will connect consumers to charitable opportunities in their towns. To market the effort, State Farm debuted a moving two-minute film "The Following" on Monday.
Created out of DDB, the film tells the story of a seemingly lonely or forelorn man. As he rides the subway, he sees a poster of a rescue dog. Then, all of a sudden is followed by the pup as he travels to and from work and goes about his daily life. Soon, the dog is joined by a homeless man, a kid who has dropped out of school, a child with cancer and polar bears -- all examples of causes that could be helped by volunteerism. Eventually, the man visits a Youth Outreach Mentoring Center to lend his support. "You can lift the weight of caring by doing," says a voiceover in the video. The film ends by supplying the website NeighborhoodofGood.com, where consumers can get matched up to appropriate charities in their geographic areas. Proceeds from the commercial's song, a cover version of the Chainsmokers' "Don't Let Me Down," by Joy Williams, will go to charity.
The film will air on broadcast TV in 30- and 60-second versions.
"We have been doing this and living this within the organization," said Rand Harbert, chief agency, sales and marketing officer at the 95-year-old company, of the first-time push. "This is big effort to take it beyond the organization." He noted that though most people want to volunteer, very few actually take action and that State Farm, with its 19,000 agents spread across the country, can help.
Mr. Harbert said the campaign has been roughly a year in the making. The TV spots, which will have a heavy presence during the NCAA tournament and NBA playoffs, will air through the summer. State Farm is also planning activations in 17 cities beginning March 23 and will share inspirational stories on social media in April, which is National Volunteer Month.
While DDB is State Farm's lead agency, other shops the brand works with, such as Translation, will help to promote the effort. Last year, State Farm spent $524.6 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.
Read the full story on the campaign at Adage.com.