State Farm launches 'Cars' promotion

BLOOMINGTON, IL: State Farm Insurance is collaborating with Disney/Pixar to sponsor the upcoming film, Cars, opening nationwide next week.

BLOOMINGTON, IL: State Farm Insurance is collaborating with Disney/Pixar to sponsor the upcoming film, Cars, opening nationwide next week.

State Farm, which launched an ad push on May 22 touting the movie, will run a parallel PR and grass roots push geared to families. Michael Fernandez, VP corporate communications and external relations, said the goal is to mine Disney/Pixar's adult fan base to attract new customers. The digital-animation film that humanizes four wheelers is the last venture between Disney/Pixar before Disney bought the digital animation studio.  

Included in State Farm’s cross promo, the first linking the insurer with a motion picture, are a sweepstakes dangling several Ford Mustangs, and a road show. Golin Harris, which works with State Farm on a contract basis, will handle media relations.  

The sweepstakes, "Countdown to Cars," which ends on June 19, will award red 2007 Ford Mustang coupes to 25 winners. Entrants will be culled from www.statefarm.com at which consumers can download a desktop icon, get a free State Farm quote, design their own cars, and enter the sweepstakes.  

The effort also includes a 40-city "Cars Roadtrip '06" which includes replicas of the films' characters, and where, Fernandez said, State Farm agents will do outreach. "[Local agents] will be able to use this as a tie-in with a lot of the families that are already being insured by State Farm," he said, adding the events are also an opportunity for agents to meet prospects and present State Farm as a family-friendly agency.  State Farm agents will be handing out a limited-edition Cars North American Road Atlas at the road trip events.

"The Road Atlas is a tool that many State Farm agents use very successfully," said Susan Puflea, SVP at Golin.   Puflea noted that Golin is working with State Farm on several sports and motorsports projects.

"The work that we're doing is helping State Farm with its larger overall advertising sponsorship strategy," adds Puflea. "This includes everything from the "Cars" sponsorship, to the support of two Nascar drivers, and other sports properties like USA Basketball, NCAA, and the World Cup."

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