By Barry Janoff
April 15, 2014: Aaron Rodgers, a veteran of State Farm commercials who, by the way, spends time playing quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, makes another appearance for the insurance company and brings with him actors Seth Rogen and Zac Efron.
The trio manage to promote State Farm, ESPN's SportsCenter, Nike (both Rodgers and Efron are wearing items with the "swoosh" logo) and, topping the list here, Universal's Neighbors, the upcoming film starring Rogen and Efron as the antithesis of the insurance company's company's motto, "Like a good neighbor State Farm is there."
Rogen and Efron are warring neighbors in the movie that pits an Animal House-type fraternity against newcomers who are in for a rocky ride.
The spot takes place in a weight room, where Rogen and Efron find Rodgers in exercise mode. Efron is well acquainted with Rodgers' exploits; Rogen not so much.
"Hey, it's you — you're the State Farm guy," Rogen says to Rodgers. "That's Aaron Rodgers, man," corrects Efron. "He's one of the best quarterbacks ever. Don't you watch SportsCenter?"
Rogen is still clueless. "You went from being a guy in commercials to being a quarterback!?" Rogen says to Rodgers. "That's incredible. that can't happen very often."
Efron is not amused. "That's not what happened." Then, to Rodgers, "This is totally embarrassing."
Rogen then tries to show he was only kidding. "Yeah. Anyway, I totally know who you are. Your brother is Eli, right?"
Efron and Rodgers are not buying in.
"Okay, I'm sorry," says Efron. "It's not like he knows everything about my career."
"Actually," Rodgers responds, "I'm a big fan: Superbad. Knocked Up. Dawson's Creek Season 6, you played Bob. You got Neighbors coming out!. I'm pumped man."
"Thank you," replies a humbled Rogen. "Well, break a leg out there." To which Rodgers replies, "We don't say that in sports." To which Efron replies to Rogen, "Stop embarrassing me in front of Aaron Rodgers." To which Rogen replies, "Who's Aaron Rodgers?"
The spot ends with a voiceover promo for Neighbors, scheduled to hit theaters May 9. Then, Rodgers tosses a weight ball to Rogen and hits him in the head. "Now you know my name," says Rodgers as he and Efron high-five.
The spot then links to a "restricted" trailer for the movie. (See the full spot here.)
This is not Rodgers first encounter with Hollywood types. He has starred in State Farm spots since 2011, touting the company's "Discount Double Check" policy, most recently in a series of commercials opposite actors Robert Smigel and George Wendt as the ultimate fans of Da Bears.
"In Aaron Rodgers, we have a guy who is well-known and has won a Super Bowl, but is understated and accurately represents the brand," Tim Van Hoof, assistant vice president of marketing for Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm, recently told NYSportsJournalism. "If you look at his commercials, he is never the jokester. He is usually a bit of the self-deprecating guy in humorous situations . . .
"We have been talking with our key broadcast partners, ESPN, TNT," said van Hoof. "It is a brave new world when it comes to collaboration, partnership, co-creation, content and distribution. Some of these folks really get it. They are in the content, creation and distribution business, doing the same things I am trying to do: create compelling content to advance our brand's goals, and then distribute it."
Q&A: How State Farm 'Cracked" The Sports Marketing Code With NFL, NBA
Did Aaron Rodgers Make It Cool To Care About Discount Double Check?
Back to Home Page