If you suspect you might actually be living in a Farmers Insurance commercial, there's one way to know for sure. Just wait for a hearty chorus of "We are Farmers. Bum-pa-dum, bum bum bum bum!" to ring out, loud and clear, as if sung by some brand-boosting choir from on high.
And when it does, you should be on your guard, because "stuff's about to get real," as the yard-work-shirking dude in the spot below succinctly points out, just before a lightning bolt zaps his ride.
That's one of three new ads breaking this week from creative agency RPA. In each, Farmers' familiar mnemonic alerts folks that chaos is nigh. Of course, no matter what freaky shite goes down, the insurer's got them covered.
Which is good news for this bee-deviled flower-delivery gal…
…and a duffer who takes a divot out of his buddy's car:
Maybe he's a scratch golfer. (Arrrgh, does Farmers offer a policy for putrid puns?)
The "bum bums," introduced by RPA a decade ago, also play a louder-than-usual role in this Farmers commercial from last year, though the air-drumming airhead behind the wheel gets too distracted to heed their warning:
Please, don't let that dude drive the tour bus!
RPA data revealed a spike in viewer attention after hearing the Farmers jingle, so the team decided to place the tune early in the ads, rather than at their conclusion.
These ads were designed specifically "to work better as YouTube pre-rolls," Farmers head of brand marketing Leesa Eichberger tells Muse. "Our jingle seems to make people lean in, which motivated thinking about how to put the jingle more front and center. Breaking the fourth wall was a way to reward that leaning-in with something unexpected and funny."
Fun fact: A CGI golf ball hit the car, not a real one. Eichberger herself put that divot in the car "with a mighty swing from a sledge hammer," recalls RPA creative director Perrin Anderson. "It's harder to dent a hood than you'd think!"
Emphasizing such a recognizable audio asset sounds like another clever use of music in brand marketing. Other recent examples include a crime novel's gripping soundtrack, Louis XIII cognac's one-note symphony, and Clos19's improvised set of 19 songs for 19 people. Just this week, Mastercard wove its brand melody into a pop single, and plans an entire album of eclectic tracks based on the six-note theme.
Client: Farmers Insurance
Joe Baratelli: EVP, Chief Creative Officer
Pat Mendelson: SVP, Executive Creative Director
Hobart Birmingham: VP, Creative Director
Perrin Anderson: VP, Creative Director
Rik Patenaude: Art Director
Scott Ellman: Copywriter
Kay Lynn Dutcher: Executive Producer
Madi Miller: Assistant Producer
Andy Recalde: Sr. Business Affairs Manager
Media Agency: Zenith
Production Company: Jogger
Diana Cheng: Head of Production
Andy Brown: Flame Artist
Editorial Company: Cut+Run
Russell Anderson: Assistant Editor
Jared Thomas: Senior Producer
Sound: Lime Studios
Loren Silber: Audio Engineer
Topher Wright: Assistant Audio Engineer