State Farm Has A Marketing Vision With Chris/Cliff Paul's Mustache, Glasses

By Barry Janoff

December 28, 2012: State Farm oversaw a giveaway of mustaches and glasses Thursday night at Los Angeles' Staples Center, but it had nothing to do with Hollywood celebrities seeking disguises to escape the paparazzi.

The insurance firm was merely doing some creative in-arena PR activation to support its new marketing campaign, "Born to Assist," with Chris Paul, point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, as part of the Clippers home game at Staples Center against the Boston Celtics.

The activation touched not only the 19,552 in attendance, but also a national TV audience watching the NBA game on TNT.

The campaign is anchored by a TV spot in which Paul and his fictitious twin, Cliff Paul, are separated at birth. Chris Paul goes on to NBA stardom while Cliff Paul becomes a star State Farm agent. As the commercial explains, "Despite their different upbringing, they shared on invaluable trait: They were both born to assist."

In the spot, Cliff sports a mustache and Clark Kent-like glasses, unlike his brother, who is a super man on the court.

The marketing and PR teams at State Farm scored bonus points with the giveaway when Billy Crystal, a long-time Clippers fan, and TNT analyst Reggie Miller both sported mustaches and glasses during a nationally televised interview. And after the game, Paul's teammate, Blake Griffin, wore the faux mustache when he met with the media.

The giveaway and useage by Crystal, Miller and Griffin also got a mention and visuals Friday morning during ESPN's SportsCenter.

The "Born to Assist" TV spot, from ad agency Transition, is running concurrent with State Farm's campaign with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Rodgers effort has made the previously nondescript term, "Discount Double-Check," one of the catchiest phrases of 2012. It also was used in a baseball-themed spot this year starring Kerry Wood and Andre Dawson and filmed at Wrigley Field.

State Farm is now seeking to do the same with its CP 'stache- n-glasses.

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