Now regretting their move to replace the original Jake from State Farm the company has fired the new and commercially popular “Jake 2.0”.
In 2011, State Farm Insurance made quite a splash with the “Jake from State Farm” promotion. It featured, not an actor, but an ACTUAL agent named Jake Stone, who was working for the insurance provider. The commercial starts with a wife discovering her husband on the phone late one night.
“Yeah, I’m married. Does it matter,” the husband says quietly into the phone. Adding to the clandestine misunderstanding he continues, “You’d do that for me? Really? I’d like that.” The wife comes down the stairs, steals the receiver, and demands to know who he’s talking to at three in the morning. She does not believe him when he says it’s “Jake from State Farm.”
The wife mockingly asks, “What are you WEARING ‘Jake from State Farm?'” The camera cuts to a pudgy, white agent who replies, “Uh, kakis.”
In 2020 State Farm renewed the commercial with a couple of changes. They hired a thin, good-looking, young, black man named Dennis Haysbert to fill the role of “Jake”. Another change was he spoke to another late-night agent, “Hey, do they ever ask you what you’re wearing?” Otherwise, the scene reads exactly the same …down to Jake’s old desk.
There is an internet rumor that claims the agent the new Jake is chatting with in the next cubicle is none other than Jake Stone. However, we reached out to the former agent who said that was not him, only a look-alike used to quiet fans of his old commercial. He declined to answer further questions, for legal reasons.
Call the casting agency! We need another Jake from State Farm!
This week, State Farm has terminated its relationship with Jake 2.0 after Human Resources reviewed the latest string of commercials against his contract. It seems the agency writing the commercials ventured away from the late-night agent calls and had Jake randomly showing up at the home of those he insures. Weird, but not a problem. That is until he broke the terms of his contract.
Where the first Jake, the REAL Jake, took angry calls from jealous wives, Jake 2.0 was offering such GREAT savings, his clients started showering him with gifts! It started with boxes and boxes of Pizza, Bread Sticks, and Wings and progressed from there. To date, Jake 2.0 has accepted spa treatments, large deliveries of meat from his butcher, free gym memberships, several expensive dinners, a trip to Las Vegas, oh… and a new car.
HR frowns on employee accepting gifts. The official policy reads, “State Farm agents and other employees cannot be seen accepting gifts from clients or vendors — unless the gift is something like holiday cookies. Nothing valued at more than $25 from a customer, vendor, or another third party can be accepted by an agent or other employee. Small gifts are allowed but “significantly expensive ones” must be reported to HR.
Unfortunately for Jake 2.0, he never reported any of these gifts.
“I didn’t think I HAD to report them!” Daniel told our reporter. “First of all, these are in commercials! They air on TV all of the time. It’s public record. If that’s not reporting, I don’t know what is! Secondly, I’m an actor and these are just scripts. I’m not a real agent and I don’t get to KEEP anything.”
Karen Magener, head of State Farm Human Resources said, “It is immaterial if this is real or a commercial. As an actor, he still works for us, albeit indirectly, and poses as a State Farm Agent. He is ‘seen’ receiving gifts which is cause for termination for any other agent with our company.”
“But the larger issue is the damage these commercials do to the State Farm brand image. We are no longer seen as a company that offers great rates. We are seen as an insurance agency that can be bribed! We no longer have jealous wives calling our agents late at night. They now flood our call centers asking if they can offer their agent something to lower their premiums. And don’t ask me to repeat some of the disturbing things they want to offer!”
In other news, it seems like a good time to be an insurance agent!