The South Asian Times

20 August 2019 16:36 PM

State Farm's new Indian ads spotlight cricket fans in US

New York: This week, State Farm launched two new spots targeting the ever-expanding Asian Indian community in the United States. Inspired by the excitement and energy of the Cricket World Cup just a few weeks away, two new ads, Cricket Crashes and Commercial Breaks, capture the emotions of Indians rooting for Team India while living in the U.S. Cricket is an extremely popular global sport but has yet to gain the same popularity in the U.S. For fans, each cricket season comes with a reminder that being a fan of the sport in the U.S. can sometimes be challenging. The newly launched State Farm spots, led by Admerasia and fluent360, touch upon that unique insight – the longing to find your fandom in a place where few are interested in a sport you like – something rarely expressed in either mainstream or multicultural advertising with humor and empathy. Both ads feature Jinisha Patel, a real-life State Farm agent who understands Asian Indians’ love for cricket and that you can’t miss a single second of the match, especially when India is batting.  

Cricket Crashes, the 30s spot, brings to life a distinctive yet familiar story of Ankur, a cricket fan who misses watching cricket with his friends in India. The ad hilariously plays up his predicament of being a cricket fan in the U.S., where everyone seems to watch either baseball or basketball, especially compared to India where cricket is practically a religion. Served with a healthy side of nostalgia, this spot takes the viewer on Ankur’s journey of searching for fans who love cricket as much him.

Commercial Breaks focuses on an intense yet completely relatable aspect of being a cricket fan -- taking calls only when the commercials are on. The unique 15s ad tells another amusing story when Ankur has ‘literally seven seconds before the commercials end’ and can’t speak to his State Farm agent – a rather meta take on commercial breaks told through… a commercial. However, Jinisha Patel, the real-life State Farm agent is here to help in whatever way is needed. In Commercial Breaks, she gets why cricket fan Ankur can’t talk on the phone when the game is on and in Cricket Crashes, Jinisha recognizes how the first cricket season away from home can be tough and helps him get back to the game after a cricket crash.

“Cricket has a massive fanbase among the Asian Indian community, and it’s a terrific opportunity for us to convey our core messaging of empathy and connect with our Asian Indian customers,” said Justin Reckamp, Marketing Manager, State Farm.

“We are always looking for exceptional insights that make the viewer break into a smile each time they watch the commercial. We wanted people to feel like they can easily see themselves in those situations. That’s how people truly relate to a brand,” said Yashica Dutt, Associate Creative Director, Admerasia.

“What makes these spots compelling and keeps them on point is that when it comes to casting, acting, and the script, we made sure we portrayed our audience in relatable ways, never stereotypically. Last year we accomplished this and we just wanted to make sure we continued with that effort.” said Jose Suaste, Executive Creative Director, fluent360.

Update: 10 May, 2019