State Farm has a classic brand management dilemma on its hands: Its pitchman, Eddie Matos, is getting plenty of attention, but only because many people seem to find him so annoying. Like Amazon Kindle's poolside girl and eHarmony store owner TanyaLee, "the State Farm Guy" seems to be driving people nuts.
If you type "the State Farm Guy" into Google, the search engine offers "... is annoying" as one of a range of unflattering auto-complete options. There's an "I Hate the State Farm Guy Facebook" page with 2,500 members.
In the ads, Matos -- who looks like a cross between Tom Cruise and Christian Slater -- hangs out at cafes and darkened newsstands randomly telling viewers about insurance. There's nothing specifically wrong with his performance. It's as competent and anodyne as any from thousands of other commercials. But it's that nebulous quality that many seem to find grating. In one ad, Matos repeatedly interrupts "Carrie Maddox," a State Farm agent, as they compete to deliver their lines:
Commenters on State Farm's own YouTube channel have not been kind:
I hate you so much State Farm douche. I swear you are a psychopath & your smile gives me nightmares.........
Get your head out of your ass State Farm! this guy is annoying and all these ads with him are lame and cheesy. Pull the ads! they aren't helping you sell insurance or making you look 'trustworthy' and 'friendly' like you're trying to do with them, you're just turning people off and looking fake.
I really want to punch this guy in the face & kick him in his nuts. Then stomp on his neck and poop on his head. Not necessarily in that order, mind you.In another ad, Matos stands in front of a newsstand stocked with fake magazines such as "News," "Woman," and "Tempo." (If you look closely, you can see that the ad agency has had a little fun with this. Among the bogus titles are "Gun Ho," "Podiatrist" and "Rolling Tunes.") To complete the generic nature of the spot, the vendor appears to be played by Jamison Reeves, the actor Madison Avenue uses to play the "acceptable black friends" in ads. The spot has inspired a YouTube parody in which Matos is tracked through a sniper's scope and then killed.
It's not just message board trolls that hate the State Farm Guy. Slate, the highbrow current affairs site, also can't stand him. Normally, this wouldn't be much of a problem. But AllState's new "Mayhem" character is proving popular, and some viewers seem to want Mayhem to take out Matos:
I wish Mayhem from All State's commercials would destroy this guy.Related:
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