Farmers Insurance celebrated the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss Day) last Friday with a fanciful 60-second ad and an animated read-along of the classic story, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, voiced by the brand’s spokescharacter Professor Burke, played by Oscar-winner JK Simmons.
“We wanted to recognize the witty and whimsical world of Dr. Seuss and celebrate our long-standing support of learning and education,” said Leesa Eichberger, head of brand marketing at Farmers Insurance. “We especially like how Dr. Seuss’ delightful and unexpected storytelling complements our unbelievable-but-true ‘We Know From Experience’ campaign, allowing us to share in his whimsical world authentically.”
Created by RPA, “The More That You See” takes actual claim stories and reimagines them using Dr. Seuss characters, rhyming and a message to get out and explore the world.
The homage tries—and is a unique and somewhat novel approach—but does not necessarily flow like a typical Seuss story.
When Professor Burke relives the tale of a mischievous dog: “You’ll see that dogs are mostly good. But when good dogs are left alone, they might make a swimming pool in the living room of your home,” it doesn’t have the same impact as “If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good,” from Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
The simplistic, signature style of Seuss isn’t necessarily easy to replicate.
“The Dr. Seuss Enterprise team was aware of how Farmers shows teachable moments through fun campaigns,” continued Eichberger. “[They were open] to the collaboration, and we looked to emphasize Dr. Seuss characters and maintain the Seussian stylings. The key to synergy in our work together was to protect and respect the integrity of Dr. Seuss Enterprise’s IP while being able to deliver our creative message. Fortunately, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Farmers had a similar style, incorporating humor and creativity while educating our audience.”
An additional aspect of the campaign features Professor Burke reading a 6-minute animated version of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, as a way to connect with parents and teachers alike.
“We knew that Dr. Seuss Day is widely celebrated with read-along activities in classrooms and at home,” concluded Eichberger. “This led us to not only the creation of the Seussian Farmers story but also the long-form video read-along, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! We were excited to merge advertising and learning with a piece of content that teachers and parents can use to help spread the positive impact of Dr. Seuss’ legacy.”