Friday, September 5, 2014


So last night, during TV coverage of the 2014-15 NFL season Kickoff game between the Seahawks and Packers, NBC aired a State Farm insurance commercial featuring Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  The ad "creatives" from DDB Chicago dug up from the graveyard of not funny comedy, ex-Saturday Night Live actors Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon portraying their skit-recurring characters Hans and  Franz, who Carvey and Nealon loosely modeled on actor Arnold Schwarzenegger from his Mr. Olympia days.

Everyone sneered in my house while watching this ad, an ad lacking creativity and more importantly, lacking any impetus to buy. The ad continues the bad trend in TV advertising of pseudo-entertainment with failed attempts at comedy.

In authentic comedy, the main story agent must face a struggle, surrounded by amusing, unexpected circumstances, which makes action of the story agent ludicrous. Most importantly, at the end, the story agent must arrive at the same place where he started. There is neither victory nor tragedy in comedy.

As I wrote in GUINNESS AD GETS DRUNK ON PATRIOTISM, a great ad does this and this alone: It puts the one seeing the ad into a wanted future and in so doing, triggers that one to act now in effort to get that future. This State Farm ad fails to lead anyone into belief of a wanted future.

This State Farm ad relies on testimonial through innuendo implying famed NFL QB Aaron Rodgers has his insurance through State Farm, so you should too. The ad fails to paint a mind picture for anyone about their future. Instead, the ad ends with a useless voice-over, punning on the phrase "pump you up."

Such an ad should make anyone wonder if John Maxham, Barry Burdiak, John Hayes, Brian Boord, Andrew Bloom, Chad Broude, and Nathan Monteith — the so-called creatives of DDB Chicago (credits) — understand how effective advertising works.

Watch the ad in all of its fail glory.

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