How Did Alfonso Ribeiro Wind up in a State Farm Commercial?

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Alfonso Ribeiro played a fun role in a series of State Farm ads as a sort of foil to basketball player and State Farm spokesman Chris Paul. State Farm has been known to bring in unexpected celebrities for cameos in their commercials.
A little star power often injects humor and introduces an element of surprise that keeps people talking. According to an interview on The Rich Eisen Show, Ribeiro loved the experience and hopes to do more.

Alfonso Ribeiro in State Farm ads

The State Farm logo in white against a red background
State Farm has featured a number of celebrities in their commercials, including Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum Alfonso Ribeiro.
In one State Farm commercial with Alfonso Ribeiro, the longtime actor and comedian pretends to be NBA All-Star Chris Paul. Ribeiro has a clearly fake beard and other obvious visual clues that he is not the real Paul. Naturally, no one around him is convinced, and the commercial ends with Ribeiro attempting a getaway after being discovered.
Despite Alfonso Ribeiro looking obviously like himself and not Chris Paul, the two do look more similar than you might expect. This similarity is likely part of why Ribeiro was given this role. He brings his natural comedic timing to the performance to truly sell it.
Ribeiro’s attempted identity theft in the ad also conveys a brand message from State Farm: just as Ribeiro could not successfully replace Paul, there’s no replacement for State Farm.

Alfonso Ribeiro’s long and successful career

Many will have recognized Ribeiro instantly in the commercial, despite his attempted Chris Paul disguise, due to his fame and popularity. Alfonso Ribeiro is most well-known for playing Carlton Banks in the ‘90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. His character on the show was highly memorable for being a dorky counterpart to Will Smith’s.
Since The Fresh Prince ended, Ribeiro has been part of shows in different genres and countries. In 2008, he began hosting a new game show called Catch 21, which he still hosts to this day. In 2014, Ribeiro competed in the 19th season of Dancing with the Stars, which he won.
Since 2015, Ribeiro’s brand of friendly comedy has been back in the spotlight thanks to his hosting gig on America’s Funniest Home Videos. It’s clear that presenting roles come naturally to him, as he is highly acclaimed for his abilities as a host.

State Farm’s many star-studded commercials

It was just as fun for viewers to see Alfonso Ribeiro in the State Farm commercials as it was for him to act in them. He is just one of many actors and spokespeople that are commonly in State Farm’s ads. Most of their commercials feature Jake from State Farm, the overall company mascot.
Chris Paul has been with State Farm for several years and is involved in commercials outside those with Ribeiro in them. Sometimes he plays a fictional brother named “Cliff Paul” who is a State Farm agent.
Football players are also a big part of State Farm advertising. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been featured in State Farm commercials for years. Recently, he was joined by another quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, and they are frequently in commercials together now.
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