State Farm Promo, Case study EMPIRE STATE OF MIND TRIBUTE TO 9/11 by DDB Chicago

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EMPIRE STATE OF MIND TRIBUTE TO 9/11

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Industry Insurance
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency DDB Chicago
Associate Creative Director Gordon West
Executive Creative Director Joe Cianciotto
Art Director Klane Harding
Copywriter Johnny Galbraith
Released September 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Financial Services, incl. Investor Relations and Corporate Finance
Advertiser: STATE FARM
Product/Service: INSURANCE
Agency: DDB CHICAGO
Chairman: Bob Scarpelli (DDB Chicago)
Chief Creative Officer: Ewan Paterson (DDB Chicago)
Group Creative Director: Barry Burdiak (DDB Chicago)
Group Creative Director: John Hayes (DDB Chicago)
Vice President/Creative Director: Geoff Mccartney (DDB Chicago)
Associate Creative Director: Gordon West (DDB Chicago)
Executive Creative Director: Joe Cianciotto (DDB Chicago)
Executive Producer: Scott Kemper (DDB Chicago)
Art Director: Klane Harding (DDB Chicago)
Copywriter: Johnny Galbraith (DDB Chicago)
Director Of Digital Production: Paul Sundue (DDB Chicago)
Account Director: Penn French (DDB Chicago)
Senior Producer - Digital: Laura Perrotta (DDB Chicago)
Executive Producer Of Music And Integration: Eric Johnson (DDB Chicago)
Media placement: Digital - CBS.com - 11 September 2011
Media placement: Digital - YouTube - 11 September 2011
Media placement: Digital - StateFarm.com - 11 September 2011
Media placement: Music - ITunes - 11 September 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Since its inception in 1922, State Farm has been an active advocate and sponsor of philanthropic efforts focusing on the areas of safety, community and education. For decades this has included support for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

As the 10-year anniversary of September 11 approached, State Farm partnered with Spike Lee to commemorate the moment by spreading a message of thanks to the more than 400 fallen firefighters and first responders who bravely gave their lives that day.

As a culmination of the effort, on September 11, State Farm premiered a 90-second tribute in honour of these heroes that would air only once. Accompanying the broadcast, the brand created a long-form documentary, available on the company's dedicated YouTube channel. For the week of 9/11, this channel was purposefully devoid of all State Farm branding and campaign videos. In its place, a collection of interviews and extras was made available.

A special edition of Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s song from the tribute 'Empire State of Mind', sung by children from all 5 boroughs of New York, was made exclusively available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon, with proceeds benefiting the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

In addition to being picked up by more than 150 mainstream publications, televised media and established blogs, in the first 72 hours 'Empire State of Mind' garnered more than 1.1m views on YouTube, was the #4 trending topic on Twitter and the 18th most searched term on Google.

The Situation
The campaign was devised in partnership with Spike Lee and State Farm as a tribute to the more than 400 fallen firefighters and first responders that bravely gave their lives on September 11.

As a decade-long supporter of The National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation, the brand sought to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 with a message of thanks to these heroes. The purpose of this communication was to publicly acknowledge that, while a decade may have passed, the sacrifices and bravery of those who gave their lives on that day will never be forgotten.

The Goal
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 90 countries lost nearly 3,000 of their sons and daughters in the single worst act of terrorism in U.S. history.

To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of this tragedy, the goal of the communication was to publicly honour and highlight the nobility and bravery of the heroes of 9/11. By its narrative, the effort was designed to acknowledge and remember those we have lost, and pay tribute to the enduring nature of the human spirit.

The Strategy
Given the sensitive nature of the subject matter and sincerity with which it was delivered, it was imperative that the tribute be handled tastefully and remain focussed on the message of thanks to the fallen heroes of 9/11, not on State Farm.

Much of the effort that went into making the message newsworthy to the public resided more in the gravity with which it was developed than in any simple communications strategy. Collaborating with Spike Lee was a critical component to thematically bringing the tribute to life, as was a partnership with the Fire Department of New York in validating this initiative.

Reinforcing its commitment to this message and the sincerity of the tribute, State Farm secured the exclusive sponsorship of CBS’s 9/11: 10 Years Later, and opened the broadcast with a message of thanks from State Farm chairman and CEO Ed Rust Jr.

Execution
State Farm premiered its 90-second broadcast of 'Empire State of Mind' on the 10-year anniversary of September 11, airing it only once. Shot in documentary style, the tribute features New York City schoolchildren singing a rendition of Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s anthem, 'Empire State of Mind', to the firefighters at the 5 FDNY engine houses closest to ground zero. A tribute edition of the song was made available on iTunes and Amazon, with the proceeds benefitting the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Relying solely on social media for the tribute’s broader communication, State Farm created a long-form documentary of its efforts, available on the company’s dedicated YouTube channel for just 7 days. For the duration of the week of 9/11, the channel as well as the StateFarm.com homepage was purposefully devoid of all State Farm branding. State Farm’s various social outlets followed suit as well.

Documented Results
In addition to being picked up by more than 150 mainstream publications and blogs, in the first 72 hours, 'Empire State of Mind' garnered more than 1.1m views on YouTube, was the #3 trending topic on Twitter and the 18th most searched term on Google.