Jake From State Farm Brings His Khakis to NBA2K
Have khakis, will travel.
Jake from State Farm sure gets around. Last week, the not-so-nattily-attired spokesdude hung out with star quarterbacks Pat Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers in the insurer's amusing NFL campaign. Now, Jake courts gamers as a non-playable character in the latest edition of NBA2K.
The Marketing Arm helped develop the integration, which lets players shoot the breeze with virtual Jake in 2K's social hub, The City. Check out an example below, with "M.P." repping users in the game's MyPlayer mode.
Such interaction unlocks Jake's outfit for free, so you can dress your 2K self in red polo shirts and khakis. (Though, really, why would anyone other than State Farm employees dress like that, even in a virtual environment?)
Actor Kevin Miles, who plays Jake, visited the 2K motion-capture studio to create the avatar:
Can y’all tell I was a little nervous? I’ve got some big news dropping soon ... can’t wait to share what I’ve been up to. pic.twitter.com/uW5dQjq03q— Jake from State Farm (@JakeStateFarm) September 9, 2021
Maybe he got a root canal while he was there? Looks painful!
Like any good capitalist neighbor, avatar Jake exists to sell stuff. He hawks his virtual branded merch at NGHBR GOODS, a 2K storefront offering khakis, polos, jerseys, gym shorts, backpacks, caps and sweatbands.
The company has sponsored 2K since 2018, "leveraging in-arena and goal stanchion branded signage, as well as a branded 'Assist of the Game,' " State Farm assistant VP of marketing and brand Patty Morris tells Muse. "We're always looking for new ways to deliver the brand's overall mission of celebrating and strengthening neighborhoods. Video games are known for their strong sense of community, so there's always been a natural tie-in for us there."
She adds: "Over the past year, we've seen the online community thrive as many turned to gaming while at home during lockdown. This trend has ultimately allowed us to reach new audiences in ways we wouldn't have otherwise been able to."
Predictably, Jake's 2K inclusion polarized the gaming community. Input cries, "Please no ... it all feels a bit forced," while Kotaku moans, "We really are in the darkest timeline." Gamespot was down with the concept, however, proclaiming, "The whole [Jake] sequence is a treat."
What, no Twitch tie-in? Of course there's one—an Oct. 2 "Jakeover." (Heh. I think.) During the live event, Miles-as-Jake will play well-known streamers and fans can win prizes.