This year, State Farm makes its Super Bowl debut with an all-star lineup, featuring Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and 2020 Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, alongside Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, cameos from Paul Rudd and Adrian Martinez as Cheesehead, and none other than rapper Drake (not to be confused with Jake… from State Farm).
Renowned director and Tool founder Erich Joiner teamed up with The Marketing Arm and Framestore to bring this seemingly straightforward spot to life. But with shooting restrictions due to COVID, celebrity schedules, and evolving storylines, this project proved anything but simple.
“It was an exciting challenge to help create an entirely new commercial using disparate elements, and a great example of how we’ve been able to overcome some of the challenges that the pandemic has thrown our way,” commented Framestore’s Shoot Supervisor, Murray Butler.
While Mahomes (who will also be making an appearance with the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV itself), Rodgers and Jake (from State Farm) were shot together at one location, shoots for Drake and Rudd took place separately. Enter the Framestore team, who set out to rotoscope and composite multiple plates into an entirely different location in order to bring the final scene together. Combining elements from the original shoot months prior with an entirely new environment took extensive preparation. Working with Director Erich Joiner and Director of Photography Bob Richardson, the team ensured that eyelines synced and plates from the studio environment precisely matched camera positioning and lighting direction. One of these plate combinations can be seen in the scene with Mahomes and Rodgers (who were filmed in LA) sitting directly next to Jake (who was shot in New York) -- which, thanks to the magic of compositing, one would never have suspected.
“The main challenge for the compositing team was to put Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers in the same environment as Jake while a majority of the footage was shot separately, meaning that and in most cases we had to extract them from different backgrounds as opposed to greenscreens, which are more commonly used for this type of project,” said Framestore 2D Lead, Martin Lazaro. “It was therefore essential to find the perfect comping technique that would maintain every detail of the talent.”
Framestore’s Clark Griffiths worked his grading magic to further ensure the final spot had a cohesive look that was in line with the legacy of State Farm commercials.
The national spot first aired on broadcast during the Big Game, as well as across digital and social channels.