The State Farm “Jake” Commercial … No Art of Persuasion?

The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships. Awesome quote from the master Leo Burnett. I have to admit. I found the State Farm ‘Jake’ commercial funny for a while. But after a while, watching 3-5 times per day on TV, not so much. Even as a 30 second spot, it can get annoying.  But as a commercial, what does it influence target customers to do? Does it contribute to the art of persuasion? What do you think?

State Farm
Persuasive State Farm commercial?

Have you seen this commercial? Does it persuade you in any meaningful way? Here is a link to the ad, in case you have not seen it:

Check out our thoughts on creative marketing.




Marketing or advertising, you need to create information that your customers find interesting and worth talking about and remembering. This advertisement certainly grabs your attention and has some entertaining value, don’t you think? But does it influence any action? Does it even create good company awareness?  Let’s evaluate this commercial for its marketing strategy effectiveness and art of persuasion:


Be relevant to your target market

Keep in mind that one message does not fit all. It starts with knowing your target market. Here the target markets are Gen Y’s and upper end millennials.  The ad is written for the young family adult. But how can the message be relevant when there is no message?


Art of persuasion … define your positioning

Your frame of reference.  Make comparisons to your competitors if you can. State Farm certainly knows who its major competitors are. But it ignores all potential comparisons in this commercial. A good move we believe, as there was nothing to be gained. The commercial has a very weak message … little to compare.

Jake commercial
The Jake commercial.

Grab and hold viewers’ attention

Entertaining, well presented, always holds attention, yes?  Keep in mind that people don’t watch ads … they watch what interests them. These ads subtly grab and holds attention based on humor and a husband and wife relationship. Letting the dialog and surprise carry the attention.


Strong value propositions

If you have a product that truly discriminates you from your competition, build your messages on these. Give your customers reasons to select you. None obvious here. In fact, besides company awareness, there is no message at all, is there?


Make your messages simple

No message obvious. Makes the audience wonder. Makes you laugh … but to what end? Creating customer interest does get any simpler than this, does it? A very simple, entertaining spot, but with little to no purpose? We find that amazing.


Make your ad a component

There are other State Farm ads in this campaign. But this one is dominating TV time. Why? Because State Farm perceives it to be popular? To what end? Also amazing to us.


Influence and persuasion

There is no better means of influence or persuasion than emotion. Hands down the best, in our opinion. This commercial however only creates humor to no end. No influence, since no message. No persuasion other that company awareness.


In summary, this ad is a very weak design in our view. Yes, it creates awareness of the State Farm brand but no persuasion for action. And very little else. Way over used in our opinion. What do you think? Does this commercial persuade you?


 Remember, it is not what advertising does with the consumer; it is what the consumer does after viewing the advertisement.




What are some of your experiences with advertising as a component of an integrated marketing campaign?


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The State Farm “Jake” Commercial … No Art of Persuasion?