Reverse Engineering a State Farm Commercial

Before a 30 seconds long spot is released into the wild, a group of very smart people gets together and try to figure out the best way to get us to open our wallet.

Have you ever wondered what buying triggers they are trying to activate while you’re casually sipping on a beer during a commercial?

We deconstruct a 30 seconds long State Farm commercial that has no less than 9 buying triggers.

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Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi πŸ™‚

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  • Brankica U

    Fu…king amazing!!!!!

    • Dino Dogan

      omg..thnx Brankica, that really means a lot πŸ™‚

  • Leon Widrich

    Wow, really cool video Dino, was my first time watching one of yours. Unfortunately, I am not someone who gets all the buying triggers, when watching commercials. Really enjoyed seeing you explain this. The most striking point to me was the guy with the grocery bag, I really picked up on that and it made feel very comfortable. Thanks for sharing this, I never looked at commercials in that way, will do so more! πŸ™‚

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx Leon, the grocery bag guy was really sneaky shit, wasnt it? lol

      • Leon Widrich

        It was, made me realise I need to go buy groceries today. lol.

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  • Brad

    Great analysis, and I agree, that is a lot of buying triggers in 30 seconds.

    • Dino Dogan

      For sure…I forgot to really make this obvious but the repetition at the end is a buying trigger in and of itself. The old ad rule is ” people dont see your ad until they see it 7 times”. He re-iterates the major buying triggers at the end so you’re hit with them twice within a same 30 second spot. Sneaky lil bastards lol

  • Nia

    Now that’s what I call subliminal messages squared… Hey, did you catch the domain name they’re using. DiscountDoubleCheck. They thought of everything.

    • Dino Dogan

      I missed few things actually..and some things are little obscure and really really under the surface. For example, the news stand has all generic, non existent newspapers. They are not giving any free advertising to real papers at the time when the industry really really needs it.

  • Ingrid Abboud

    I’m speechless! And that’s a frickin’ good thing :).
    I caught a couple – but you pointed out some incredible eye-openers.
    Nicely done Dino!

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx Griddy…I knew you’d appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Elise M

    “That dude is whiter than white…” LOL.

    This was cool! And yeah, 9 sales triggers for 30 seconds is insane. I definitely don’t pay attention to State Farm commercials (or any commercials at all) because of the blatantly obvious fact that they are trying to sell us something. It’s become second nature for a lot of us to ignore these types of ads.

    But nice job on the case analysis. You should do more! I like the painting in the background haha!

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx, my friend Carlos drew John Lennon in oil. Its one of my favs. Ive had it for 15+ years. He had a Jimmy Hendrix that was just sick, but he pre-sold it and I couldn’t talk him into donating it to me lol

      Ive scoped out the next ad I want to do…it will be a doozy πŸ™‚

  • Wilson Usman

    Man you really broke that down for us, never seen anyone really do this. I like to analyze commercials myself and I’ve never really thought about doing something like this.

    Really creative shit, I like it.

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx bro, Im so glad you like it. I found two guys who did commercial breakdowns but they sucked. They were like two yentas talking about how the StateFarm dude looks like a pretty woman. Which he does but who gives a fuck?

  • TristanH

    Very cool post, Dino! And dang man… you’re good at that whole video blogging thing.

    Those State Farm folks are tricksy. I guess that’s why I bought my insurance through them… So many triggers! πŸ™‚

    • Dino Dogan

      StateFarm ad agency is good..whoever designed those ads is certainly a student of the game and very familiar with culture codes and buying triggers.

      The only somewhat tricky part was downloading the spot and weaving it into the video. So not to fish for compliments, but when you say “good at video blogging” what are you referring to? I mean, its just me talking into a camera :-0

      • TristanH

        You seem very comfortable in front of the camera. Very personable and likable. No “ummms.” No long pauses. No jumping around all over the place.

        And yeah, what video editing software do you use?

        • Dino Dogan

          Thnx man. I appreciate that.

          For this particular video I used iSkysoft Video Studio Express. But Ive used them all. Are you on windows or Mac? What do you need to do?

          • TristanH

            I’m on Windows. I just want a simple, not bloated, cheap (free = even better) video editor. Ever used Avidemux?

  • Robert Dempsey

    This is total awesome Dino. So many of these are blatant and yet subtle. Most people watching these commercials wouldn’t pick up any of it – it would all be subconscious.

    Looking forward to many more!

    • Dino Dogan

      Tnx bro…I appreciate the RT and the encouragement. I will be releasing another one next week. Its going to be MGD 64 beer commercial. They have a very interesting take on beer ads.

  • Murlu

    This is all sorts of win Dino.

    I noticed one thing as well – the dude carrying the groceries is one of the only people to look at the narrator – it’s during the discount which, for me at least, pulled me attention to the narrator.

    Dude, keep this shit up, this is awesome.

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx Murray. I think both the narrator (narrator’s hand) and the dude carrying the groceries were actually looking at the white pop-up with the website URL…watch it again …tell me what you think.

  • Michele Welch

    Pretty fascinating Dino! That is why advertising companies make the big bucks… they know how to draw people into their message in a matter of seconds!

    Lot to be learned from this type of markeing. Great job of the video! I’ll never look at another State Farm commercial the same again. LOL

    • Dino Dogan

      Hi Michele, even tho the triggers they’ve used are standard I think you’re right. There is a lot to be learned and I think its a better way of learning rather than “normal” ways like the ones suggested in related posts. Ima do more of these πŸ™‚

  • Jay Dolan

    This is why I stopped watching television.

    • Dino Dogan

      I know what you mean bro. I need to break my TV one of these days..Tell you what tho… dont think any of my TVs will survive the move lol

  • Mark W Schaefer

    I love this, Do more. I learned something.

    • Dino Dogan

      I now have to know…what did you learn?

  • Karen Bice

    Loved this, Dino! First time I’ve seen you on video, and it was fun watching. You have great energy and humor, especially for a subject that can be boring to some people. Would love to see more.

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx Karen, Im working on the next one right now. WIll be out next week πŸ™‚ prob tuesday.

  • Sully

    I loved how you described the pitchman as being “whiter than white”. Turns out that the pitchman is Eddie Matos ( and he was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Having said that, I really enjoyed the video & look forward to seeing more of these.

    • Dino Dogan

      I suspected that he was of Spanish origin. Thought his name was Hector tho…nice job with the research, but lets face it tho, they didnt hire Luis Guzman, now did they? lol

      • Sully

        Which is somewhat surprising, as the new trend for insurance commercials seems to be hiring actors who were on Oz.

        • Dino Dogan

          lol…I KNOW!!! What gives?

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  • Elyse Bruce

    This 7 1/2 minute video went by quickly! Great information and insights into one 30-second commercial. Thanks for tweeting this today, Dino.

    • Dino Dogan

      awh, thank you Elyse. That is a HUGE compliment.

  • Thane36425

    Good analysis. The mute button on the remote works just as well for taking care of commercials, the only problem being that so much programming these days is so boring I get interested in something else and forget to check for the when the show starts up again. State.

  • Jana Rade

    Wow. I also hate commercials! Well, some of them I find cute … always love the Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?”
    I REALLY HATE anything that states “up to something.” Lose up to 25 pound. Internet speed up to … Save up to …
    0.00001 is still up to whatever, even one million. I hate that. I also do hate comparative advertising. Yeah, I hate commercials. Enjoyed the post though.

    • Dino Dogan

      How lovely to see you πŸ™‚

      I know I’ve been busy with Triberr and neglecting my dog peeps…sorry bout that.

      I have a pretty awesome post in mind for my dog blog, all I need now is some time to do it.

      How are things with you? How is dog world getting along without me? πŸ™‚

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