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The African American Community Is A Top Priority for State Farm

altAs a brand, State Farm understands the importance of
connecting with the African American community. The company’s popular
commercial with LeBron James—where a friend of the NBA star has his car
broken into and James recommends he call State Farm—has become one of
the more talked-about ads on TV. The commercial ends with James and
another friend mocking their friend for having a Kid N Play CD in his
car. James has shown charisma and humor in his ads, but the State Farm
clip is notable for its use of 80s/90s pop rap stars Kid N Play’s music
and signature dance moves. The spot is a perfect example of how a brand
that understands its audience can market to them in
subtle-yet-effective ways. State Farm has consistently shown an ability
to reach the African American community—in a myriad of ways. Vice
President of Marketing Pamela El clearly knows how to speak to the
people, and it shows in State Farm’s approach.

Hip
hop marketing isn’t necessarily a new thing—from Kurtis Blow’s ads for
Sprite to Snoop’s T-Mobile spots, hip hop has made its mark on Madison
Avenue. What makes the State Farm ad so unique is that it isn’t a
rapper in an advertisement pitching a product—it’s an athlete, and hip
hop is more of a backdrop than a major selling point. It shows that
State Farm understands how to market to the hip hop generation without
pandering; they were savvy in their approach. Using Kid N Play helps to
reach hip hop heads of varying age groups and acknowledges the fact
that hip hop, at 30 years old, represents more than just one generation
at this point. But State Farm’s understanding of the community
stretches far beyond the realm of NBA stars and 80s rap fads; its
sponsorship of the 50 Pound Challenge reveals a commitment to health
awareness that goes under-emphasized amongst other companies. You can
put as many PSAs relating to obesity on the air as you want; it won’t
mean anything unless you find a way to put the reality of poor diet
choices in people’s laps. The Challenge has toured the country, and in
cities like Atlanta and Chicago, people are learning how to take better
care of themselves through information and advice from people like Dr.
Ian Smith. ~Todd Williams