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Aaron Rodgers has been appearing in State Farm insurance commercials for a few years now, but the latest one is a little different.
Rather than alluding to the usual off-season rumors about contracts or trades, he is portrayed as a game show host, asking contestants “Who is offered the Rodgers Rate?”
This is clearly poking fun at the rumor that Rodgers was being considered as the next permanent host of Jeopardy! following a successful stint as guest host.
What is the story behind Aaron Rodgers’ latest State Farm commercial?
Following the passing of long-time host Alex Trebek in November, 2020, Jeopardy! sought to find the next permanent host by cycling through 16 guest presenters, including Ken Jennings, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, LeVar Burton, and of course, Aaron Rodgers.
All of the guest hosts were fans of the show, and this format was framed as a sort of live audition, with whoever did best being instilled as the next permanent host.
Rodgers is a Super Bowl Winning quarterback, and holder of multiple NFL records, but Jeopardy! fans were skeptical that a star athlete would have the skills needed to host a quiz show.
They needn’t have worried. Rodgers was an excellent host, and became a real fan favorite. So much so, that when it came time for the producers to announce the next permanent host, many viewers were clamoring for Rodgers to get the gig.
The latest State Farm commercial pokes fun at this scenario, by having the veteran football star act as a game show host, in charge of quizzing three contestants about low insurance rates.
Unlike his actual persona, Rodgers is somewhat rude and flippant to all three contestants —including Jake from State Farm. The commercial ends with Rodgers muttering “Everyone gets great rates I guess,” at which point Jake jumps in to finish the State Farm pitch.
Smart advertising by State Farm
Not only does the latest State Farm ad employ humor to great effect, it expertly weaves in the real life narrative of Aaron Rodgers’ ties to Jeopardy!.
This is a smart move by State Farm’s marketing team. It shows audiences that they have their finger on the pulse, and can connect their brand to pop-culture without it seeming too forced or cringe-worthy.
As for Aaron Rodgers’ ambitions of being a real game show host, he was overlooked in favor of producer Mike Richards. Unfortunately for Richards, his appointment was overshadowed by allegations of workplace bullying, and he has since been replaced by actress Mayim Bialik.
Still, Rodgers is remembered fondly by Jeopardy! fans, and many hope he’ll get the role after retiring from football.
He would certainly be keen. As reported by Sports Illustrated, in response to being asked if he would have accepted a full-time position as host, Rodgers said, “Yeah, I definitely would have. If they would have figured out a way to make it work with my schedule, yeah, for sure."