In recent years, many brands have begun using famous spokespeople to market their products. State Farm is one of the most prominent insurance companies in America, and it uses a fictional farmer named Jake to advertise its services. In one of their advertisements, Jake the State Farm agent was portrayed as an African American man. The problem? That’s, not the way he looks in their other ads. And that left viewers confused and wondering why this particular character was a different race in this particular spot. So, when did Jake from State Farm become black? Keep reading to find out!
When Did Jake From State Farm Become Black?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question, but it’s likely that Jake from State Farm became black at some point in the last few years. This is because he was originally voiced by an actor named Chris Thile, who is white. However, Thile left the role in early 2017 and has since been replaced by an actor named J.D. McCrary, who is black. So it’s likely that the character became black sometime in late 2016 or early 2017.
5 Problem With Representation In Advertising
It’s Not Accurate
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a little over 13 percent of the population is black, which means that there are roughly 40 million black people living in America. So why is Jake from State Farm portrayed as African American in some ads and white in others? This can be confusing for viewers who have no idea why this character is of different races in different ads. It may also make some viewers feel like they’re being tricked into thinking that these products are made specifically for them when, in reality, they may not be intended for them at all.
It Can Be an Offensive
The reason why Jake from State Farm became black is likely because the company wanted to appeal to more viewers by including a black character that would resonate with a larger part of the population. However, it’s possible that this decision was made without consulting with African Americans about whether or not this was something that would offend them or make them in was not thought through very well. After all, there are already several black characters on the show, which means that this one doesn’t really stand out as much. And if the company had decided to choose a different race of actor to play this character, they could have used someone who is not usually seen in mainstream media.
It’s Bad Marketing
There are also several problems with marketing when it comes to using a black Jake. First of all, the producers of this show chose J.D. McCrary to play the role because he has a recognizable face and voice due to his past work on other popular children’s shows like “Doc McStuffins” and “Henry Danger.” However, using an actor who is already familiar with voicing black characters is unlikely to make viewers feel as if he fits in with the rest of these characters or that he has been chosen specifically for them. It’s also possible was made without any thought to how it might affect viewers who are black or white. So, if you’re a black person and see Jake from State Farm portrayed as a white man in one ad and a black man in another, that could be offensive. And if you’re a white person and see this character portrayed as a white man in one ad and a black man in another, that could also be offensive.
It Can Be Confusing
The most confusing thing about Jake from State Farm becoming black is that it doesn’t make sense for the brand to change his race. After all, State Farm Insurance is an American company based in Illinois, which means that the vast majority of its customers are white Americans living on the East Coast. There are some African Americans living on the East Coast too, but they make up just 7 percent of the population there, according to census data. So why would this brand choose to portray its spokesperson as African American could have been offensive to some viewers? African Americans have historically faced a lot of discrimination, and some people may feel that the use of this character in this way is disrespectful to them.
It’s Not Always Accurate
In addition to the fact that Jake from State Farm became black, it’s also possible that he could become white again in the future. This could be even more confusing for viewers who are used to seeing him portrayed as a white man, and it could make them feel like they’re being tricked into thinking that these products are made specifically for them when, in reality, they may not be intended for them at all. This can be seen as disrespectful to viewers who were under the impression that these products were created with them in mind and then learned otherwise later on.
What Does This Change Mean For State Farm?
- The advertising corporation was criticized by many viewers the first time Jake became black. So, many people were shocked to see that it happened again.
- State Farm doesn’t have a pattern of using African American spokespeople to advertise its products, so this just isn’t normal for them and it looks weird.
- This might be a bad business strategy for State Farm since it makes them look like they don’t know how to create an advertisement with a consistent message.
- This change may cause some viewers to stop trusting the products that State Farm advertises and discontinue their insurance plans – which obviously aren’t very good for business!
- Since the ad that includes Jake and his family has been viewed nearly 80,000 times on YouTube, it’s likely that many people have seen this misstep.
- Many viewers have commented on YouTube about how the advertisement doesn’t make sense for State Farm, and there are even some people who said they won’t be patronizing the company any longer!
How Will This Marketing Strategy Help State Farm?
Using an already-recognized character is a great way to get people talking about your products. By having someone besides Jake in a State Farm commercial, people will be discussing the different ways he appears. Some may be asking “How do you explain that?” while others will be debating whether or not the black Jake should appear in more of their ads. Either way, this strategy will increase awareness of State Farm, which is what they want in order to continue growing their brand!
Increase Brand Loyalty
There are many benefits to getting people to feel loyal to a brand and buy into its ideals and persona. One instance where this can be seen is political campaigns, where candidates try to appeal to different groups of voters by appearing as one of them would. This strategy can also work for brands like State Farm since it allows consumers who have identified with Jake for years (perhaps even decades) to feel like he truly speaks for them and that they identify with him on some level now more than ever before!
Try New Ideas Before Releasing Them To Everyone Else
Although not every ad featuring Jake will feature the black Jake character (in fact, most probably won’t be ours of the State Farm family!
Increase Market Share
As mentioned before, the point of this campaign is to increase awareness and brand loyalty, which will result in more money for State Farm! However, promoting Jake for his race, rather than for his job as a state farm agent, will allow viewers to look at him in a new light. This in turn can lead to more people being knowledgeable about State Farm’s product offerings and they may become more likely to sign with them because they feel like they know who they are going to be insured with! Being familiar with an insurance company can make you feel better about your decision when you decide that it is time to transfer companies or renew your policy.
Stand Out In a Crowded Market
Getting a commercial in front of a large group of people telling them about your brand can be much more effective than simply writing about it on your website or social media. It’s far easier to get someone to watch a commercial than it is to convince them to click on your ad, read your post, or watch you speak at an event. By getting Jake from State Farm in front of more people and having them ask questions, viewers will not only see that they offer insurance but they’ll also get the chance to hear all the good things they’ve been doing through their commercials and posts.
5 Problem With This Marketing Strategy
The thing with marketing campaigns is that they want to convey an accurate view of the brand as possible. For instance, if a brand creates a commercial in which one of its spokespeople wears a cowboy hat, then the brand should be sure that this type of clothing is true to the brand’s identity. Posing black people in roles in which they would not normally exist might seem harmless at first. But if Jake the State Farm agent suddenly started to appear in other commercials where he was portrayed as an African American or Latino man instead of a white farmer, then viewers would start to become confused about what his actual racial background was supposed to be
It Makes Viewers Feel Uncomfortable
Have you ever been watching TV and see an actor who looks very different from the way he usually looks? You might have even been watching something like a sports game or another show where nobody expects artists and actors to look different from their normal appearances. And yet, suddenly that person you were used to watching every week shows up with new hair color, piercings, tattoos, or other details that are completely unfamiliar! It can feel kind of strange when this happens because it makes you feel like you don’t really know what’s going on anymore. And once the event can make it to you. So, when did Jake from State Farm become black? It’s not just about brand inauthenticity.
It Is Racist
Ad agencies have done their best to create new strategies to gain market share away from their competitors. Back in the 1990s, the “Got milk?” campaign was one of the first campaigns to use celebrities in its advertisements (as opposed to using average Joe consumers). These ads featured celebrities like Michael Jordan and Cindy Crawford drinking milk while trying not to break character as they explained why milk was good for them (like staying healthy).
It Ruins The Character Itself
Some brands make the mistake of making their spokespeople so generic that nobody cares about them anymore. But Jake State Farm’s agent is a special case because he has become such an iconic figure over the years. In fact, he has become so iconic that people often refer to him as “Jake from State Farm” rather than his actual name (Jake Halenbake). By changing his race and changing his appearance from commercial to commercial, State Farm is not only harming its own brand by using poor marketing strategies.
It’s Inauthentic To Other Parts Of The Advertisement
In addition to feeling uncomfortable about what was a significant alteration to who Jake was supposed to be, some people also felt as if this marketing strategy was simply too unrealistic for State Farm’s brand identity. After all, the entire commercial is set in Middle America and features many scenes of middle-class American life. In fact, there are several scenes that even feature middle-class white people! So it does not make sense for one of these middle-class white people to suddenly be changed into an African American man who happens to be a State Farm agent!
For almost two decades, State Farm has used a white man to advertise its services. This has set the company apart from its competitors, and this has allowed State Farm to become one of the most prominent insurance companies in America. This change in Jake’s appearance marks a shift in marketing strategy for the company. This change could end up making the company more inclusive. It could help reach a whole new audience. This marketing strategy could pay off big time for State Farm, or it could end up being a huge flop. Only time will tell. For decades, people have associated State Farm with a white man, but that could all change soon.