The Original ‘Jake From State Farm’ Guy Wasn't an Actor

Melanie Krieps Mergen
· 4 min read
The original Jake from State Farm character wasn’t an actor—he was an actual State Farm employee. After the commercial became a hit, actor Kevin Miles took over the role as Jake from State Farm.
  • The original “Jake from State Farm” was a real State Farm employee who won an internal casting call for an upcoming commercial
  • After State Farm decided to continue on with the role, professional actor Kevin Miles was hired

The original Jake from State Farm

The original Jake from State Farm ad, released in 2011, was a rare commodity. It was a commercial that was actually funny. 
You might be familiar with the scene. A man stands alone in his living room at 3 a.m. He whispers into a cordless phone: "Yeah I’m married. Does it matter?"
But as explained by Jordan Fraser on
Medium
, the original Jake from State Farm was not a trained actor. The character was played by Jake Stone, a real State Farm employee.
Stone won an internal casting competition to land the part of a customer care agent. He was essentially playing himself, but proved the perfect foil to the hysteria on the other end of the line.
Jake from State Farm quickly took off. The concept was fresh and well-executed. It didn’t feel like a sales pitch for
State Farm car insurance
, but the commercial certainly raised their internet credibility.
Jake became so popular that State Farm went all in. They made Jake their mascot, giving him a prominent section of their website and his own Twitter profile.

The new Jake from State Farm

Back in early 2020, just before the coronavirus turned everything upside down, State Farm was making a radical change.
The original Jake from State Farm was being replaced by actor Kevin Miles. Audiences were shocked when State Farm released a shot for shot remake of the original hit commercial, featuring Miles in place of Stone.
Fraser’s article on Medium suggests Jake was replaced for a trendier model. Miles is younger, cooler, more in-step with the Twitter crowd.
State Farm
went with a different explanation: "The original Jake did great at delivering his famous line… however, this expanded role is very demanding, and is best filled by a professional actor."
In a nice twist, Jake Stone does have a role in the remake, cast as the new Jake’s cubicle neighbor.

State Farm’s successful campaign

The original Jake was extremely popular and many of his fans were upset at the change in personnel. But this hasn’t stopped the new Jake from State Farm campaign from steaming ahead.
The expanded role mentioned above, has now seen Kevin Miles play Jake in dozens of commercials, most of them recorded over Zoom due to the pandemic.
There have been big moments too. Like State Farm’s commercial during the most recent Super Bowl.
In the ad, Jake shares the screen with star quarterback
Aaron Rodgers
, actor Paul Rudd, and rapper Drake, who introduces himself as "Drake from State Farm."
The new Jake from State Farm campaign has been well-received by the industry, receiving a 2021 Webby Award.

Where else can we expect to see Jake From State Farm?

State Farm is a familiar sponsor of the National Basketball League and an advertising mainstay in the world of televised sports. The insurance company owns the naming rights to the Atlanta Hawks' home court, State Farm Arena.
PSFK
notes that State Farm also presents pregame segments for the NBA2K e-sport league.
Now Jake From State Farm is set to play a role in the new NBA 2K22
video game
. Jake From State Farm is featured as a non-playable character (NPC) in the game tasked with welcoming players to The City.
Interacting with the digital Jake allows players to unlock State Farm-inspired garb for their own created characters. The Jake From State Farm avatar is based on the Kevin Miles character, khakis and all. 
To earn their own khakis and red polo shirt, players wait to hear the tagline "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" to proceed.
It's true Kevin Miles is best known for his smiling face as Jake From State Farm. But he has quite a resume as a
commercial actor
and has represented several brands. You might recognize him from his parts in ads for Slim Jims, Taco Bell, or Pepsi, among others.
Fans can spot Miles in Netflix's Tall Girl 2. Though his cameo role in the show is brief, it serves as a pivotal moment in the protagonist's character development. Miles has been featured in small parts in several television shows through the years, including Criminal Minds and S.W.A.T.
Distractify
says to look for Miles in the upcoming dystopian film titled Uglies. No release date has been announced yet but it is expected to hit the screen by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

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