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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Jake and The Kelces

Finalist in Real Time Response

Gold Honor in Integration with Live Television

Audience Honor in Integration with Live Television

Entered in Single Post or Activation


Insurance isn’t often the most exciting topic. So, when an opportunity arises to capitalize on a cultural conversation, you have to jump at it. That’s what State Farm did to associate themselves with one of the most viral moments of this NFL season. To understand how they got there, we need to go back to the off-season.

With their deep ties to the Kansas City Chiefs, State Farm was early to recognize Travis Kelce’s star quality, casting him alongside teammate Patrick Mahomes, Coach Andy Reid, and Jake from State Farm in the insurer’s 2023 NFL campaign. They knew the group’s chemistry would make for entertaining commercials. They didn’t know it would set the stage for a viral moment.

At the start of the season, the campaign debuted with an ad that had Jake and Mahomes convincing Kelce to change his last name to MaAuto to create “the best bundle in the league,” Mahomes and MaAuto—a reference to the bundling of home and auto insurance.

A week after the ad debuted, Taylor Swift shook the earth by attending a Chiefs game with Donna Kelce (Travis’ mother) and leaving the game with Travis, catapulting him and his family to new heights of fame and attention.

Enter Ryan Reynolds and his team at Maximum Effort with a stroke a brilliance—an idea that would spoof the media frenzy surrounding Swift and the Kelces while incorporating State Farm.

The goal? To recreate the pop culture frenzy ignited by Taylor Swift.


Strategy and Execution

On the heels of the most talked-about NFL moment of the season, there was an opportunity. Donna Kelce planned to attend an Eagles game to support her older son Jason Kelce, an NFL star in his own right. And who would accompany her, Taylor-style, pulling the NFL and pop culture conversation their way? Jake from State Farm, who would then be shown leaving the game with Jason.


Why Jake? Well, with his distinctive wardrobe and good neighbor vibes, he’s become a cultural phenomenon since his 2020 debut, attracting 1M+ TikTok followers with his culture-first storytelling. He has become a favorite at cultural events from NBA All Star Weekend to BravoCon, and even featured in multiple SNL parodies. So we had the perfect person, and perfect brand, for a perfect idea.


Maximum Effort pitched the idea to State Farm on Friday and received the green light from Swift and the Kelces on Saturday. TMA arranged for Jake from State Farm to be in Philly, and collaborated on the content for JFSF socials, tying it back to the bundle campaign. With all parties now in on the joke, the stage was set for Sunday.


In case you (somehow) missed it, Jake from State Farm surprised the world by simply sitting alongside Donna Kelce at an Eagles game. The moment, captured on Fox broadcast and rebroadcast that Sunday night in the most viewed NFL game since the Super Bowl, truly went viral, helped along with clever wordplay.

Jake started the game by posting a selfie with himself and Donna, and ended the night by posting a video of himself and Jason Kelce walking through the tunnel post game, but was clear that they were “not talking about Jason’s Personal Price Plan.” Jason joined the fun by posting a candid photo of Jake and Donna cheering him on, adding “I also have a superstar in my corner.” Ryan Reynolds added the cherry on top, simply reposting Jason’s photo with “Donna Kelce FTW”.

State Farm stoked relevance for fans by playing up Taylor Swift references on social media with Jake’s food (nuggies with “seemingly ranch”), attire (exchanging friendship bracelets with Jason Kelce post-game), and selfie captions (being in his “red era” with signature red attire).

But fueling relevance for State Farm’s business is the real chef’s kiss here. Those nuggies reference the “Combo Meal” commercial; “Mama MaAuto” is an evolution of the Mahomes & MaAuto commercial. And of course, Jake+Mama MaAuto being dubbed “the bundle we didn’t know we needed” reinforced the entire bundling campaign.


Ultimately, the stunt garnered 2.6 billion impressions, 270K engagements across social, digital, broadcast, and radio. There was a 15x lift in brand searches and a 92% positive sentiment. The earned media value of that conversation: $22.9 million across 300+ placements.

According to data and analytics firm EDO, the shots of Jake and the Kelces from the initial broadcast had the impact of 30 standard prime-time ads and 172 cable ads. When NBC replayed it during Sunday Night Football, a Chiefs game with Taylor Swift in attendance again, EDO said it was equivalent to handing State Farm 300 standard prime-time ads or 1,758 cable spots.


Video for Jake and The Kelces

Entrant Company / Organization Name

State Farm