By Barry Janoff
December 25, 2014: State Farm appropriately chose Dec. 25 to unwrap the next chapter in its “Born to Assist” campaign, which came complete with a few new gifts from the NBA and WNBA.
Building on the assist theme, State Farm has now added to the established faux-twin spokespersons of Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Chris Paul and "brother" Cliff and the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry and "brother" Sebastian the duos of Damian and "twin" Darius Lillard, Sue and "sister" Summer Bird and all-time NBA assist leader John Stockton, who brought along his "brother" Don.
The State Farm proclaimed "Starting Five" are all part of the recently unveiled National Bureau of Assists, not to be confused with the real NBA, which sends its members out to assist customers in situations ranging from simple to complex.
The latest led of the effort, from lead agency Translation, NY, broke during the NBA's slate of five nationally televised games, with one on ESPN, two on ABC and two on TNT. They will go into regular rotation with new spots moving forward, with support that includes print, Internet and social media.
Three new spots extended the scenario in a teaser spot that broke earlier this month, "Starting Five," including "Best of the Assist," "Seen It All" and a "Press Conference" spot with both Chris and Cliff Paul answering media questions about the National Bureau of Assists, its members and its goals.
The spots also come with a new tagline: No One Assists Alone.
“NBA fans across the country have built this incredible connection with the State Farm ‘Born to Assist’ campaign and the character of Cliff Paul,” Patty Morris, marketing director-brand content for State Farm, said in a statement. “This year, we’re taking our story to the next level with a new focus on teamwork and the many ways State Farm agents help customers. After all, as each of our 18,000 State Farm agents can tell you, no one assists alone.”
The "Best of the Assist" spot introduces us to John/Don Stockton, aka The Legend, who as the chief assist officer for the National Bureau of Assists recruits Chris and Cliff Paul into the "elite" group that features Sue/Summer Bird (The Tenacinator), Damian/Darius Lillard (The Clutchman) and Stephen/Sebastian Curry (The Professor).
"Seen It All" drills down into the history of Don Stockton, who, like his Hall of Fame brother John, has seen it all when it comes to assisting in situations that involve Heat, Bucks, Rockets, Pistons . . . "Whatever you toss his way," explains a voiceover, "he's beating it all."
In the Paul's "Press Conference," the brothers seek to explain the differences between the NBA and the NBA (National Bureau of Assists).
Q: You say they are different but there are some incredible similarities. The NBA's all-time assist leader is John Stockton, and his twin brother, Don, is the Bureau's all-time assist leader. Just a coincidence?
Cliff: An amazing coincidence.
Chris: We can't believe it either.
Q: What's the difference between the usual days of Chris and Cliff?
Cliff: One day I have to assist at home and another day I have to assist on the road. And I have to be ready for anything: Grizzlies, Bucks, Thunder . . . even Rockets.
Chris: Me too, except for the Bucks. That's only twice a year.
Q: Can you give us any real differences?
Chris and Cliff (in unison): We always protect the perimeter . . . and we defend against breaks and steals.
"Cliff Paul has become a celebrity in his own right," Morris said during a recent interview with NYSportsJournalism. "The fact that he is a State Farm agent whose goal is to assist people is a great demonstration of our brand.
"Sports is a key tenet to our overall media and messaging strategy.,: said Morris. "The number of fans and folks who are engaged in sports activities on a day-to-day basis warrant us to be in that space. So it will continue to be a key part of our media strategy and messaging strategy. And we will continue that 360-degree storytelling approach. We have had a lot of success, so you will continue to see us in that space."
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