State Farm Evolves on ‘Idol’

LOS ANGELES State Farm evolves its “Intersections” campaign with the debut of a 90-second ad tonight during the American Idol finale on Fox.

The commercial, which is set to the Jackson 5 song “I’ll Be There,” features emotional scenes of people looking out for one another. It’s tagged with the brand’s long-running “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” line. This is the fifth season State Farm has advertised on Idol.

Ad agency DDB in Chicago created vignettes including a mom holding a baby, a candlelight vigil and a couple in the aftermath of a storm. A woman is seen feeding her elderly husband and a dad spots his son as he takes his first jump into a pool. A soldier returns home to his mother.

The work is the evolution of the “Intersections” campaign, which began last year as a way of showing how State Farm is there during life’s important milestones, such as when one gets married or moves to a new town. “[We wanted] to connect emotionally with consumers,” explained Mark Gibson, assistant vp, advertising. “‘Being for me’ is why consumers select one insurance company over another. Being there means we’re there to help you manage the risks of everyday life, recover, manage your dreams.”

The latest phase of the “Intersections” work will roll out through summer across platforms, including out of home, Internet and radio. Several agencies are involved. Aside from the 90-second version that will debut during Idol, a couple of shorter Spanish-language executions broke in April. English versions in 15-, 30- and 60-second executions will roll out in the next few weeks.

“Nothing’s more important than being there,” said Gibson, who stressed the importance of staying relevant and connecting to consumers in an emotional way — especially now and in his competitive category. “After what’s happened over the last eight months with the economy and the faith people had in businesses, people are craving truth. State Farm is one of few brands that can talk to consumers in an emotional way and have it mean something.”