By Barry Janoff
December 23, 2013: The story of Chris Paul and Cliff Paul is so yesterday, according to State Farm.
New creative from State Farm featuring the "twins" who were born to assist but separated at birth, traces their roots back to the 1920s. There, Christopher Paul Sr St Sr and Clifford Paul Sr Sr Sr give birth to the assist: Christopher on the basketball court, Clifford as a shop owner who inspires the up-and-coming business next door — State Farm Insurance — to assist customers “like a good neighbor.”
A lead spot, "Heritage of the Assist," breaks on Christmas Day during the NBA's block of games on ESPN and ABC. It arrives with two ancillary 15-second spots, “Legacy of the Assist” and “Roadside Assist.,” which also expand the story.
"Heritage" also stars two new characters: Lil’ Chris and Lil’ Cliff, both played by Chris Paul Jr.
All three spots are part of a larger multi-platform push for 2014. Lead agency is Translation, NY.
The "Heritage" launch will see digital banners featuring Chris and Cliff Paul's ancestors and supporting the message, “Nothing endures like the legacy of an assist."
Social media includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. A Cliff Paul bobble head giveaway by State Farm is scheduled for Feb. 18, when the San Antonio Spurs visit Staples Center to play Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers. In addition, there will be Chris and Cliff Fatheads; and giveaway “Clifford Kits” with a handle bar mustache and monocle to align with the new Heritage plot.
State Farm has been an NBA partner since 2010. The insurance company broke the Chris-Cliff Paul campaign in late 2012 and shows no signs of slowing down.
"We will continue to be diligent about driving the conversation and having some fun, but always coming back to moving the metrics in the right direction and understanding what the brand stands for with people," Tim Van Hoof, assistant vice president of marketing communications for State Farm, told NYSportsJournalism during an interview earlier this year. "And with social media, it's all about having conversations and pushing the brand forward and creating more awareness and brand recognition."
"Heritage of the Assist" finds Chris and Cliff Paul playing Scrabble — the board is completely filled with the word "assist" — with Lil Chris and Lil Cliff. The kids interrupt the game with a question about life. Not the birds and the bees, but about assists.
"Twins Chris and Cliff could not help talking about the assist," explains a voiceover. "And yet, a new question — 'Daddy, where do assists come from?' — rendered them speechless."
Chris and Cliff then flip though a family photo album for answers. As the voiceover relates, "They discovered something extraordinary."
The action then cuts from looking at old photos to 1922, where local shopkeeper Clifford Paul Sr Sr Sr "inspired employees with State Farm, a thriving new insurance agency, to be there for customers like a good neighbor" when he tosses them umbrellas just before a downpour.
Meanwhile, Christopher Paul Sr Sr Sr "revolutionized the game of basketball by suggesting that players [covered by the defense] pass the ball to other players who could score," relates the narrator.
"Delighted that their ancestors' invented the assist, the twins could rest assured that the gift of giving was in their genes." It ends with the line, "Nothing endures like the legacy of an assist." (See the full spot here.)
In "Roadside Assist," we find that in the 1920s, Clifford Paul Sr Sr Sr was "ever the good neighbor and pioneered the roadside assist." We see him running to the aid of a woman whose car, resembling a Model-T Ford, has broken down. Clifford Sr Sr Sr even "was equipped with the latest technology" to get help, which turns out to be a carrier pigeon. The tag line here: "State Far is proof that nothing endures like the legacy of a good assist.
"Legacy" shows us that "from the moment that Clifford Paul created the assists, his legacy lived on, both in his smile and in his style," which sees cars and clothing morph from the 1920s to the 2013. "From one generation to the next, State Farm agents never cease to assist you."
"Ultimately, as much fun and as entertaining as it is to work with Aaron Rodgers [in the Discount Double Check campaign] and Chris Paul, its about the brand," said Van Hoof. "If people don't get closer to the brand, engage with the brand, buy from the brand or stay longer with the brand, then it's all been a lot of fun, but we've probably been wasting our money."
State Farm Ups Chris Paul Push
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