For teens, learning to drive is a long-awaited milestone. For their parents, it can be a source of dread: Car crashes are the number-one killer of teens in the United States, and a driver’s first year on the road is his or her most dangerous. With its Celebrate My Drive program, State Farm insurance aimed to show its dedication to teen-driver safety without minimizing the joy of getting one’s first driver’s license.
State Farm and The Marketing Arm created a one-day event in 13 malls across the U.S. and Toronto, with nearly 400 additional agent-hosted events taking place across the U.S. and Canada. In each market State Farm partnered with a local radio station for live remotes and pre-event promotion. Online promotion and mall signage also drove traffic.
Teen visitors registered themselves to win a new Chevy Sonic and their school to win one of more than two dozen $100,000 grants. Once registered, they could create a seven-second flip-book video with friends and family that they’d receive as a bound souvenir with a digital code so that they could also upload it onto Facebook. Driving simulators gave them the chance to experience what it was really like to be on the road, and a giant map enabled them to mark the locales they’d like to drive to—all while listening to a DJ, watching local cheer and dance teams perform, and meeting local celebrities. Nonprofit groups were given space nearby to exhibit and conduct safe-driving activities. There were also on-site giveaways of items ranging from T-shirts to Beats headphones.
More than 8,300 people attended the 13 mall events on Sept. 15, 2012, and another 27,000 participated in the agent-hosted events, or more than 35,000 in all. During the event as well as the five days leading up to it, more than 5,000 high schools received 215,000 votes from more than 127,000 unique voters for the grant contest. And nearly 850 news stories, including coverage in Parade, The Wall Street Journal, E! News, and BET.com, resulted in more than 300 million impressions.