A Farmers Insurance Twitter hash-tag will be featured on the bumper of NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne's car during Saturday night's race at the Texas Motor Speedway. The decal, using copy "#Farmers5", will also appear on his helmet, as well as on the pit wall at the racing stadium in Fort Worth, TX. Kahne drives a No. 5 Chevrolet for the Hendricks Motorsports team.
Part of the racing circuit's popular Sprint Cup Series, the event will be nationally televised on Fox, creating a TV-Twitter branding combo for Farmers. Kahne is currently the 31st ranked driver in the months-long competition. The effort builds on an ongoing relationship between the racecar driver and the brand.
"We want to connect with Kasey Kahne's fans to understand what's on their minds and become a part of their community," Ryon Harms, social media director at Farmers Insurance, told ClickZ. "We want to connect with TV viewers, people at the actual events, and the people who wish they were there. The effort definitely crosses the offline-online barrier in using Twitter."
While Farmers has run Twitter initiatives centered on its network of insurance agencies, Harms said it's the first significant branding campaign his team has deployed on the social site. "We haven't done anything like this before," he said. "In terms of the hash-tag on the bumper, I don't think any brand has done this before."
The #Farmers5 decal will also appear on Kahne's car for the April 22 race at Kansas Speedway, which will also be televised by Fox. The hash-tag was launched this afternoon with a tweet via the @KaseyKahne account, which has 168,000 followers.
Meanwhile, Farmers has been active in testing social media waters during the last 18 months. It's been particularly keen on trialing campaigns on social media games like Zynga's Farmville.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014