State Farm and The Marketing Arm score the Grand Ex with a cause marketing campaign that showed us all that customers care about their communities—and corporate values
Smart marketers know that millennials are finicky about the brands they give their loyalty to. More than any other generation before them, they care about what their favorite brands stand for.
State Farm’s research revealed that 70 percent of millennials and Gen Xers love to volunteer, but only 25 percent actually do it. So the brand set out to close what it called the “intention gap” with an experiential marketing program that answered the question: What if we could transform good intentions into action all over America?
The heart of the resulting Neighborhood of Good program beat with the spirit of philanthropy, supported by locally relevant, easy-to-access volunteer opportunities across events, digital engagements and meaningful face-to-face experiences. The simple premise: State Farm would help consumers turn caring into doing while proving what it stands for in the process.
“We know that the ‘new adult’ millennial audience is really looking for ways to have community and worldwide impact—that’s something that’s very important to them,” says Mandy Garner Laux, State Farm’s brand content and experiential manager. “Their willingness to do business with a brand that shares that value of giving back and making a positive difference—you definitely see that correlation.”
Online, consumers could engage with the campaign by popping their zip code into neighborhoodofgood.com and then selecting from dozens of charitable causes within their communities—right then and right there.
From March to December, volunteer events across the country led by “Good Neighbor Crews” (brand ambassadors) brought the program to life. At the events, instead of filling bags with swag, attendees packed meals for at-risk youth, assembled foster care packages and put together school supplies for families in need. And there were signature national cornerstone events, too. Throughout the month of May, for instance, State Farm hosted events to help end childhood hunger during Hunger Awareness Month.
Festivalgoers at events across the country took part in micro-volunteering activities and learned how local musicians give back.
And they didn’t stop there. Last summer, the brand infused volunteerism into summer activations at music festivals including Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lost Lake and Faster Horses. Inside its #HereToHelp Lounges, augmented reality, micro-volunteering and custom cause posters gave festivalgoers a fresh viewpoint on their local neighborhood’s greatest needs. Local artists played acoustic sets and talked about how they like to give back. And in September, State Farm recognized Good Neighbor Day, a 40-year-old one-day celebration created by President Jimmy Carter, all month long by unleashing a series of activations across community events that encouraged consumers to take a few minutes to help out local nonprofits.
Paid ads and media integrations infused the entire strategy into TV broadcasts, and amplified it through celebrity influencer partnerships, putting it on the national stage with morning shows and primetime programs including …read more