Who can forget “Jake from State Farm”, everyone’s favorite insurance mascot?
Noticeably, insurance companies are behind the most well-known mascots and commercials in television history. You have the Geico Gecko and Flo from Progressive, all a part of quirky short advertisements. All these characters have been immortalized in pop culture thanks to a slew of creatively quirky commercials created by these companies throughout the years. But there is one insurance mascot that stands above the rest in the eyes of many – it is the internet’s favorite insurance mascot, the original Jake from State Farm. In this article, expect to find all the information you are looking for on Jake from State Farm.
What Happened To The Original Jake From The State Farm?
For the 2020 Super Bowl, State Farm Insurance rebooted one of its most successful TV commercials: “Jake from State Farm.”
The Jake 2020 commercial has been a huge hit for the insurance company, with hot actor Kevin Miles playing Jake. The reboot commercial went viral, spawning new situations for Jake, and Miles has since co-starred in commercials with Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Paul Rudd, and even Drake. But to understand why this new commercial became a hit, we have to go back to the original one from 2011.
The Original ‘Jake From State Farm’ Commercial
“What are you wearing, Jake from State Farm?”
In the original ad, a wife finds her husband on the phone at three in the morning and gets suspicious, but her husband clarifies that he is just talking to the always helpful “Jake from State Farm.”
Debuting in 2011, the Jake from State Farm commercial with its simple
premise and brilliant delivery sprung Jake from State Farm into the pantheon of s-tier insurance mascots. The guy only had one line, “uh khakis” delivered brilliantly.
So who was this Jake guy? Let us find out more about his background.
Who Was The Original Jake From State Farm?
The original Jake from State Farm was portrayed by an actual guy named Jake Stone from Illinois. Jake Stone, the man behind the iconic character
back in 2011 was 26 years old and worked for the State Farm Insurance Company at a call center located in Bloomington. He also worked part-time at a nationally famous bar.
One day when Jake was working at his State Farm job, his friend Dane Ramirez told him that State Farm was doing a company exclusive casting call and wanted somebody from the company to portray a character in an upcoming commercial. Thinking that it was worth a shot, Jake auditioned for this casting call, where he was only asked to say, “uh…khakis”. The State Farm marketing department liked the way Jake said it, and they cast him in the commercial. Then he was flown out to California and acted in the commercial we all know and love. Millions of people saw Jake and fell in love with his character even though he was only on screen for a few seconds.
In reality, Jake was not even playing a character. Instead, he was just playing himself. It was how Jake from State Farm wound up becoming a meme on the internet, and as the commercial went viral on YouTube, Jake Stone became quite popular in his city. In an interview, Jake Stone revealed that his life didn’t change much after he starred in the popular commercial, aside from being asked to take the occasional photo with a fan and repeat his now-famous line: “Uh…khakis!” The bar he worked at framed the khakis he wore in the commercial and hung them on the bar’s wall in his honor. State Farm greatly benefitted from “Jake from State Farm” and the success he brought on board.
Where Is Jake From State Farm Now?
Due to the incredible success of the commercial, fans expected that State Farms would be inviting him to perform in additional commercials, but he never showed up again in future commercials until the 2020 reboot of the State Farm commercial. Right after filming it, he went back to work at the call center in Bloomington and went on to live a mostly normal life.
In 2014, Jake quit his part-time job at State Farm and became a seasonal employee for the town of Normal, Illinois. He also operated as a bartender at Pub II. We do not know what Jake does now, but he is well. There was a rumor about his death a few years ago that his wife had killed him after she found him cheating on her. The rumor was denied by the official “Jake from State Farm” Twitter account. The tweet read- “Contrary to recent reports, I am alive. Thank you all for your concern.” Moreover, he had a short appearance in the 2020 commercial but not as “Jake from State Farm”.
Why Did They Change Jake From The State Farm To A New Guy?
The commercial was still undoubtedly a cultural phenomenon, and the character garnered somewhat of a cult-like following. In February 2020, State Farm had a new ad campaign coming out. At first glance, it looked like our OG boy Jake was coming back. The commercial started looking like the original one from 2011, but then State Farm threw the world a curveball – Jake Stone was indeed replaced.
In the State Farm Insurance 2020 reboot commercial, the husband and wife once again bicker about the phone call, but there is a new Jake on the other end of the phone. Jake 2.0 asks his co-worker, “Hey, do they ever ask you what you’re wearing?” Then, viewers see Stone who is portrayed as the co-worker. The original Jake pops up and answers, “uh…yeah”. The genius move to include Stone shows the company did not forget the original Jake.
But why was he not given the role of Jake from State Farm? Why was he replaced?
The company wanted the new Jake to be more of an actor and spokesperson for the company. State Farm Assistant VP of Marketing Patti Morris talked to Muse about why the company switched to a new Jake. Morris told the outlet that Stone did great but that the expanded role the company had in mind for Jake 2.0 was to be better served by hiring a professional actor to present the product.
When the company re-upped the “Jake from State Farm” ad campaign in 2020, the idea was to have the new Jake take a more active role. Morris told Muse that the new campaign would feature a Jake who could tap into more “culturally relevant moments.” Plus, since the original Jake was no longer an insurance company employee, it made perfect sense for State Farm to replace him with an actor.
Who Is The New Jake From State Farm?
The Jake 2.0 from the 2020 State Farm commercial is a professional actor named Kevin Miles. Kevin Miles, the new “Jake from State Farm,” has a story that could only happen in Hollywood. According to Forbes, Miles went from sleeping in his car when he first moved to Los Angeles to becoming a star in commercials, working with Drake.
According to Variety, Miles’ character has more cultural awareness right now than celebrities like Katie Couric and Hilary Swank, and the Celebrity DBI database shows he has a very high positivity rate. Of the people who know who he is, more than 80 percent of them find him appealing, which puts him on par with heavy hitters like Tyler Perry and Leslie Jones in terms of likability.
Before getting internationally famous, Kevin had appeared in several films like Innocent (2010) and Lap Dance (2014). He also acted in a few tv shows like SWAT and Criminal Minds. He also did ads for Hyundai, Slim Jim, and Pepsi.
Jake From The State Farm 2020 – Salary And Net Worth
Kevin Miles’ salary for State Farm has not been disclosed. But his net worth is somewhere around $2 million. According to some sources, Miles could be possibly getting around $10,000 to $15,000 per commercial, exclusive of royalties.
Why Is The New Jake From State Farm Hated?
Because Jake Stones was replaced by an actor with no prior association with State Farm and also because fans loved the OG Jake, many were upset about State Farm bringing back the iconic character but replacing the guy himself. Immediately following the commercial, the internet cried out in protest and anguish. There were comments like “Why change perfection?”, “Why attempt to fix something that is not broken?” Naturally, the change was hard to adjust to.
Viewers did not hesitate to voice their opinion about how they did not like the new Jake. Some find his voice grating like nails on a chalkboard while some called his persona fake. Although Kevin Miles was a great choice and the commercial was fine, I think the real reason people hate the new Jake from State Farm is that the company made a blatant replacement of a character with whom they connected, who they found hilarious and chilled out.
Regardless, Kevin did an outstanding job. I hope one day he will be viewed in a more positive light.
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