Ad of the Day: Farmers Insurance

J.K. Simmons continues to thrive amid the chaos of RPA's campaign

It's been three years since actor J.K. Simmons (you know, the guy from Law & Order, Spider-Man, Juno, The Closer, I Love You, Man…) first appeared in the role of Professor Nathanial Burke, the advice-doling academic in RPA's "University of Farmers" campaign for Farmers Insurance. The spots are pretty formulaic, but often have nice flourishes, as Burke teaches prospective Farmers agents about the dangers lurking just around the corner—laundry fires, hailstones, flying farm animals—which are played out in rather over-the-top fashion for our viewing amusement.

"Suds," a new spot from the latest Farmers campaign, "It's Smarter to Have a Plan," follows that template to a T. Burke meets up with yet another student at the University of Farmers (which, by the way, actually exists—the company has training campuses in California and Michigan) to show him that what he doesn't know, like the fact that you should replace your washing-machine hose every five years, can hurt him. (Or at least, your kitchen will fill up with detergent bubbles.)

The ad allows Simmons to get a bit more animated than usual, but otherwise fits in with the seemingly agreed-upon strategy by U.S. insurance companies to deluge viewers with variations on the same ad. Lucky for Farmers, its campaign has a star who won't make you want to bash your head against a wall after seeing him eight times in a single evening.

Simmons is one of the more likable character actors in existence—even if you can never remember his name.


Client: Farmers Insurance

Agency: RPA

EVP, Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli

SVP, Group Creative Director: Pat Mendelson

Creative Directors: Tom Hamling, Pete Figel

Senior Art Director: Katie Carlile

Senior Copywriter: Seth Prandini

Copywriters: Chris Juhas & Josh Hill

Art Directors: Ben Tolbert & Cheston Kwan

SVP, Executive Producer, Content: Gary Paticoff

Senior Producer: Selena Pizarro

Assistant Producer: Ryan Radley

Production Company: Smuggler

Director: Guy Shelmerdine

Director of Photography: Joost Van Gelder

Executive Producer: Laura Thoel

Producer: Lisa Tauscher

Production Designer: Tom Hartman

Editorial Company: Spot Welders

Editor: Haines Hall

Editor: Paul Sabater

Executive Producer: David Glean

Senior Producer: Carolina Wallace

Post Production Company: The Mill

VFX Shoot Supervisor: James Allen

Executive Producer: Sue Troyan

VFX Producer: Gabriel Libitsky

Executive Producer Telecine: LaRue Anderson

Telecine Artist: Shane Reed

Audio Post Company: Lime Studios

Audio Post Mixer: Rohan Young

Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

Title Design: Laundry! TV

Executive Producer: Michael Bennett

Head of Production: Eric Badros

Producer: Kirsten Collabolletta

Title Design: Tony Liu

Title Animation: Tony Liu, Yongmin Park, Julie Lenoble

Music Company: Elias Arts, LA

Composer/Arranger: Jonathan Elias

Executive Producer: Ann Haugen

Creative Director: Dave Gold