Farmers Insurance Pays Off

NEW YORK Yet another example of creative dazzle in the insurance category, each spot in this campaign for Farmers Insurance from Campbell-Ewald is a puzzle with a payoff. The latest commercial, “Commute,” features a working woman leaving her suburban home in the morning—all pantsuited, flat shoed, and normal and boring, except that once outside her door, she spots a garbage truck, heads back into her house, and takes a running leap at it from the backdoor. From that ride, she hurls herself, Spidey-like, onto an oil truck, drops on top of a bus, then, as if from an old Hertz commercial, arrives by air into the driver’s seat of a convertible, and finally, plops on the back of a police horse. The final leg, in the back of the saddle, behind the policeman, is pretty hilarious. We’ve seen setups like this before, but we’re still captivated by the storytelling and absolutely in the dark about what it’s for. “Having trouble getting to work after a car accident?” the announcer says. “One call to Farmers Help Point could fix that. Farmers Help Point—sanity makes a comeback.” The other two setups are also a bit crazy: a woman is followed by the wind in her office (“Still have the wind damage to your home in mind?” ) and a couple bathing in a public fountain and sleeping in a store (“What would you do after a house fire?”). I like the attention to detail in “Commute”—for example, the woman drops her attache case back in her house, before flinging herself onto the garbage truck. Smart and urban (not a tractor in sight), the work sure modernizes the idea of Farmers.