State Farm has been branching out into nontraditional avenues to promote its products, services and brands for a while now — but never as extravagantly as its collaboration with the indie rock group OK Go.
The band, which hails from Chicago, gained internet fame in 2006 when its foray into treadmill choreography for the video of the song “Here It Goes Again” created a YouTube viral sensation. And when State Farm, which has been active on social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Youtube, saw an opportunity to help the band create its next viral vision, it jumped at the chance.
The result is a four-minute, Rube Goldberg journey through a warehouse, during which TVs are smashed, umbrellas are launched, dominoes fall and paint goes everywhere. Even if the song “This Too Shall Pass” wasn’t any good — which it is — the video would still be captivating to almost any audience. And by keeping its presence minimal and not obtrusively over-involving its brand in the production, the insurance company has helped create something that people will legitimately want to see. All of this helps increase its reputation, particularly among the younger, hipper audience who will most enjoy the video.
I had actually seen “This Too Shall Pass” twice before reading about the insurer’s involvement and didn’t even realize State Farm had anything to do with it. As you may or may not notice on your own, the red truck at the beginning that starts the dominoes and a State Farm logo after the video ends are the only evidence that the company was ever involved.
In the near-term, that may seem to trivialize State Farm’s reputational benefits. But as more and more people notice — and talk about — its involvement in a cool project, the brand becomes a little cooler. And it will likely become see as an innovative company that other creative types will want to partner with.
Essentially, rather than being a stuffy insurance company that awkwardly tries to convince people it is cool, State Farm is just sitting back and underwriting a project done by some guys who already are cool. And since underwriting is its specialty, that just makes sense.
Let’s face it, most insurance companies aren’t going to become hip on their own.
Check it out below. (video via Insurance Marketing HQ)
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