State Farm’s latest campaign is about cricket, but not like you’ve seen it before.
South Asians loving cricket is hardly a secret. Introduced to the subcontinent by the British, it’s now one of the most popular sports in the region and most South Asians, whether in United States or back home, grow up watching or playing cricket. So, it’s no surprise that the sport is on top of most marketers’ playbook when trying to reach out to South Asians, and in particular, an Indian audience. Especially, in time for the Cricket World Cup – it’s few weeks away and happens once every four years – a marketing game plan to channel the excitement and energy that comes with the tournament is a win-win.
That’s why when it came to crafting a theme for this year’s State Farm campaign, we decided to turn to this sport that echoes with so many Indians and their emotions. But instead of engaging with tired or overdone tropes we’ve seen many times before, we hit upon an insight that most Indians in the U.S. can relate with: rooting for your favorite cricket team while living in a country where, for most people, cricket is an insect that refuses to be quiet at night. For its fans, each cricket season comes with a reminder that being a fan of the sport in the U.S. can sometimes be a challenge. Our newly launched State Farm spots, Cricket Crashes and Commercial Breaks, engage with that distinct longing for your fandom — something rarely expressed in either mainstream or multicultural advertising – with humor and empathy. Both ads feature Jinisha Patel, a real-life State Farm agent who understands Asian Indians’ love for cricket and that you can’t miss a single second of a match, especially when India is batting.
Cricket Crashes, the 30s spot, brings to life a distinctive yet familiar story of Ankur, a cricket fan who misses watching cricket with his friends in India. With humor, the ad plays up his predicament of being a cricket fan in the U.S. Everyone in his new home seems to watch either baseball or basketball, in stark comparison to India where cricket is practically a religion. Served with a healthy side of nostalgia, this spot takes the viewer on Ankur’s journey to search out fans who love cricket as much he does.
Commercial Breaks focuses on an intense, yet completely relatable, aspect of being a cricket fan — taking calls only when the commercials are on. The unique 15s ad tells another amusing story when Ankur has ‘literally seven seconds before the commercials end’ to speak to his State Farm agent – a rather meta take on commercial breaks told through… a commercial. However, Jinisha Patel, the real-life State Farm agent, is here to help in whatever way is needed, even if that means getting straight to the point.
In Commercial Breaks, Jinisha understands why cricket fan, Ankur, can’t talk on the phone when the game is on and in Cricket Crashes, she recognizes how the first cricket season away from home can be tough. She does more than help you through your insurance needs – she gets you.
Cricket has always been a direct and rather effortless way to connect to Indians. But despite its ubiquity in multicultural marketing, there are still ways to keep it fresh and interesting. Our latest State Farm campaign is a case in point.
Associate Creative Director