State Farm celebrated its 100th anniversary in June and the brand is celebrating with a strategy that keeps the company current and relevant in the modern world.
The latest iteration of that is sponsoring iHeartMedia’s new concert and event space in the Fortnite metaverse. “It is really exciting to get a 100 year old brand to be among the very first movers into the metaverse in a meaningful way,” said Alyson Griffin, head of marketing at State Farm. “It’s aligned with our strategy of generating future demand, and showing up in places where millennials and Gen Z are in meaningful ways.”
Rather than trying to build something and hope somebody comes to it, the brand wants to show up where these consumers are already hanging out. “We thought that there was a really wonderful opportunity to create State Farm Park with a trusted partner that we’ve had for years with iHeartMedia in a way that we believe would be meaningful to the audiences we were trying to connect with,” added Griffin.
The brand has been doing a lot of innovation work over the past year in order to appeal to a younger audience. Last fall, the brand’s character Jake from State Farm made his virtual gaming debut in the NBA2K game franchise, NBA2K22. Jake has also shown up in TikTok. The company also recently hosted a gaming competition on Twitch.
“We know that it is important to start making connections with that under 40 audience and the Gen Z’s in particular, who aren’t necessarily a customer target for us today, but somebody who needs to know who we are and start creating meaningful relationships so that when they are ready to get off the parent’s payroll and start getting insurance that State Farm is a brand that they know, that they trust, that aligns with their values and has been with them from their start,” said Griffin.
iHeartRadio counts 100 million users and 85% brand awareness among US consumers and State Farm hopes to get in front of this massive audience. State Farm Park in iHeartLand will kick off with a special two-part performance by GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Charlie Puth on September 9. This event will be followed by an album release party with Puth on October 7. The virtual venue will also feature fan experiences, podcast events and interactive gaming. Over the next year, State Farm Park in iHeartLand will host 20 events.
“Music is a very great connector to an audience and we think audio in general is a really smart move from a marketing perspective,” said Griffin. “State Farm is really trying to be a forward thinker in marketing in general, not just for our industry, and an older group of consumers who know they have to get insurance. Getting Jake from State Farm and State Farm Park into the ethos of how we set up the metaverse, what does it mean to be a good neighbor in the metaverse? We want to be there shaping how this entire new channel comes to be.”