The other day a friend of mine said, “I love that new commercial where Lebron James joins the Cleveland Browns.” I then asked him, “Whose ad is that?”, and he was stumped. When I told him it was State Farm Insurance, he said, “Really? I’m seen it several times, and I had no idea it was a State Farm ad!”
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This ad commits three unforgivable sins: its story line has nothing to do with the product or service being advertised; it doesn’t mention the brand until the very end of the commercial; and it no doubt cost the advertiser a fortune in endorsement fees for a celebrity who steals the show from the brand.
Of course, this isn’t the first time someone has remembered an ad and its featured celebrity but not the advertiser. It happens all the time, but that should be no consolation for State Farm–which wasted a ton of money on this ad–or for its advertising agency–which did not earn whatever it was paid to produce it.