- State Farm today (Nov. 4) launches an augmented reality (AR) treasure hunt for mobile users to find more than 500,000 virtual footballs, according to an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive. The experience, which stars quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes, debuts ahead of the Packers-Chiefs game on Nov. 7.
- Participants of the AR treasure hunt can find and collect virtual footballs on a microsite via smartphone to redeem for prizes like nonfungible tokens (NFTs), autographed merchandise, apparel and gift cards. All players will win an NFT after completing the game's first level and will have the chance to earn one of several limited-edition NFTs. Once a player clicks on a football in the game, other players will no longer see it.
- This is State Farm's first foray into the NFT space and follows a recent move by the insurance brand to embed its mascot, Jake from State Farm, into the video game NBA 2K22.
Akin to the mobile AR game Pokemon Go, State Farm's virtual treasure hunt enables the insurance brand to connect with consumers on a deeper, more interactive level.
Verizon in September took a similar approach with a multicity AR hunt to showcase the faster speeds of its 5G network. That activation, dubbed H1DD3N, included geofencing in Chicago, Miami, New York and elsewhere, encouraging participants to explore their real surroundings via digital imagery on their smartphone. State Farm's activation is different in that it's not limited to geofencing or parts of certain cities, allowing consumers at home or anywhere to be part of the action.
State Farm joins a wave of brands experimenting with how to incorporate buzzy NFTs into their marketing strategies. McDonald's, Bacardi and Crockpot have cracked into the space for the first time just in the past month. State Farm is marking the occasion with a variety of prizes — including NFTs and autographed merchandise — that span the metaverse and real world.
Even though this is State Farm's first foray into the red-hot NFT space, it's no stranger to marketing on virtual channels. The insurance brand built on longstanding relationships with sports franchises in September by embedding its mascot, Jake from State Farm, into the video game NBA 2K22. Players could interact with Jake, a nonplayable character (NPC), and purchase in-game apparel like the mascot's classic khakis and red shirt. The brand extended the effort to Twitch in a livestream that featured giveaways and allowed State Farm to engage with the gaming community without traditional advertising.
Meanwhile, attaching big names like Mahomes and Rodgers to the brand's latest AR activation may help to generate excitement and boost participation ahead of the their teams' planned faceoff this weekend. Rodgers on Wednesday tested positive for COVID-19, barring him from playing in Sunday's game, though the State Farm activation will continue as planned, a company spokesperson told Marketing Dive.