Hidden Talents: DDB & State Farm

State Farm, Terry Crews, and Ken Jeong Showcase Hidden Talents in Latest Campaign by DDB

State Farm’s “Hidden Talents” creative showcases the hidden talents of Ken Jeong and Terry Crews to demonstrate that the company customers know and trust for home & auto is also the company they can trust for life insurance.
The spots feature Jeong (who is an actual medical doctor) and Crews (who is a trained flutist) demonstrating their talents alongside real-life State Farm agents. In one, Crews plays his flute (and throws in a trademark pec flex), and in another Jeong examines an unusual X-Ray. In both scenarios the State Farm agents explain that they, too, have a hidden talent when it comes to providing life insurance.

Brian Culp
Creative Director DDB
Katie Bero
Creative Director DDB

Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.

We were the creative team.

Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?

State Farm is so well known for home & auto insurance that most people don’t know they do life insurance. This campaign is all about exposing that hidden talent to the world. Or at least the world that watches TV and has social media channels. Ok so yeah, the world.


Tell us about the details creative brief, what did it ask?

To tell people that State Farm is the pro you didn’t know was a pro at life insurance. And to do that by the deadline on the second page of the brief.


Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?

That life insurance is essentially State Farm’s hidden talent. That’s when we did what any creative would do and googled “famous people with hidden talents.” We found all kinds of crazy stuff we probably can’t legally say here. But that’s how the juxtaposition you see now was born.

Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen?  

We have folders full of dead ideas we could wax poetic about, but honestly we just wanted to use the phrase wax poetic. Ultimately this idea was chosen because it came from a completely different perspective. Not just because we put five J.D. Power awards inside a State Farm agent’s body (see X-ray), but because it was so simple and unexpected for life insurance.

What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development.

It was a pretty fast timeline (cue the world’s tiniest violin), but when you add in the celebrity factor we had to be prepared for anyone to say “no” at any moment. We were just constantly writing back-up scripts and preparing back-up plans, but in the end everything worked out fantastically. A ton of credit goes to the client in locking arms with us and a ton of credit goes to having trust on both sides.

What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?

Working with our director, Jeff Low, was a huge highlight. We’ve always been big fans and it was fun to bring his vision for this into the mix.

Where do you see this campaign going in the future?

Are you implying this campaign has a future? When do we get briefed? What’s the budget? Did you know Rebel Wilson does nun chucks?