Yesterday, an African American art director friend and I were looking at a spot for a brand, which will go unnamed, and we both blurted out the same reaction at the same time.
“I’m so tired of Midwest White Boy Humor!” We laughed. Laughed some more. And then talked seriously about what our reaction really meant.
I mean, I am half white, after all.
“MWBH” is really what many of the Midwest agencies would refer to as “beer humor.” It’s kind of a fun-loving, kick-you-in-the-nuts, a little-dorky-at-times joke associated with mostly, well, beer. Sometimes hardware stores and fast food.
Don’t get me wrong, the broad humor has its place and time. I, myself, presented my fair share of “MWBH” working for a few Chicago shops.
That said, I had begun to see it creep into other brands such as State Farm. And look, I laughed along with the rest of America, at Coneheads and the late-night call to a State Farm agent.
Or hot State Farm agents magically popping up. Aaron Rodgers. It’s easier to laugh at him if you’re not a Packer fan. And of course, who can forget “Droppin’ Dimes?”
But is that kind of humor right for right now? At a time when you have a President tweeting attacks on “Morning Joe” hosts or Sears laying off 400 people? Talk of walls. Especially for an insurance company.
We can table that question today when it comes to State Farm.
What I love, yes, using the word love here, about State Farm’s new Backstory campaign, using the tagline “Here to Help Life Go Right,” is that it takes a personal look at what really means a lot to regular American people.
Regular is the key word here. Not a sitcom-like set up. Or a parody. Real life. People who feel like you see every day. What looks like a simple thing to you and me, may mean the world to someone else.
What looks like just a truck to most of us means the world to that one guy taking the bus. Or it looks like just a house or chair, but to that person it is the most valuable thing in the world to them.
Each spot is personal, believable and moving, making them RAW for this week.
Created by DDB Chicago, Backstory doesn’t focus on insurance products. Rather, the creative tells the story behind what’s being insured and recognizes the hard work, time and sacrifice these items represent. The campaign shows that State Farm understands the material goods that people insure have a deeper meaning and are worth more than their dollar amount.
DDB Chicago Chief Creative Officer, John Maxham, had this to say about the campaign, “In some sense, our possessions are just material goods with a dollar amount attached. But they also have a deeper meaning in our lives. They represent shared memories, hard work or independence. In this campaign, State Farm positions itself as a company that understands what your things truly mean to you.”
A true 360-campaign, creative for Backstory is running nationally across broadcast, online video platforms and in cinema. Additionally, the campaign is supported by national terrestrial and streaming radio, social media and digital display.
The campaign has a real classic feel to it up there with classic Budweiser or McDonald’s. And that feels right for right now.
Agency: DDB, Chicago
Ari Weiss: Chief Creative Officer, DDB North America
John Maxham: Chief Creative Officer, DDB Chicago
Mel Routhier: Group Creative Director
Rua Perston: Creative Director
Matt Cramp: Creative Director
Diane Jackson: Chief Production Officer
Scott Kemper: Executive Producer
Amy Turner: Senior Producer
Zoe Grubbe: Production Manager
Linda Bres: Music Production Manager
Ben Gladstone: Group Business Director
Veronica Zamiar: Account Director
Oliver Glenn: Account Supervisor
Katie Murphy: Account Executive
Jack Perone: Chief Strategy Officer
Neil Kumar: Strategy Director
Production: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Noam Muro
Partner/Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Rick Jurjoura
Producer: Charleotte Woodhead
Head of Production: Mercedes Allen-Sarria/Rachel Glaub
Director of Photography: Jo Willems
Production Designer: Bruse McClosky
Editorial: Work Editorial
Editor: Neil Smith
Assistant editor: Erik Vogt-Nilsen
Producer: Brian Scharwath
Executive Producer: Marlo Baird
Colorist: Paul Harrison
Flame Op/Creative Director: Jason Watts
Executive Producer: Celia Williams
Music Agency for Supervision and Licensing: Groove Guild
Partner/Music Supervisor: Al Risi-Truck
“Break my Bones” by John Taylor
Audio Post: The DDB Studio
Audio Engineer: Nicholas Papule
Assistant: Cameron Aper
Got a spot you’d like to submit for “RAW?” Send along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think? Post your comments below!