The fallout from Aaron Rodgers’ positive COVID-19 test and anti-vaccination comments have apparently landed him in hot water with one of his biggest sponsors: State Farm.
Rodgers has regularly starred in State Farm commercials since his famed “discount double-check” spot back in 2012. More recently, he has been a part of a series of commercials touting the “Rodgers rate.” He has appeared as a game show host, guitar player and golfer in these advertisements, and Patrick Mahomes is also a part of the campaign.
However, it seems like State Farm will be relying on Mahomes’ spots more moving forward.
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In wake of the drama surrounding Rodgers and his vaccination status, State Farm made some significant changes to its ad programming. Per Darren Rovell of The Action Network, Rodgers’ commercials had previously made up 25 percent of State Farm’s advertisements. That dropped to just 1.5 percent — six total ads — over the Week 9 weekend, per Apex Marketing.
“It appears that State Farm has reduced the number of national spots, dropping off considerably as of Friday,” Apex president Eric Smallwood said. “Our monitoring indicates that this wasn’t a planned reduction and more reactionary because there [weren’t] any new significant ads put in its place.”
State Farm’s decision comes after Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and revealed that he wasn’t vaccinated. He had previously said that he was “immunized” before the season, but he received a homeopathic treatment instead of a vaccine. As such, he was placed into the NFL’s COVID protocols and will have to miss at least 10 days. That included the Packers’ 13-7 loss to the Chiefs.
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Rodgers also went on “The Pat McAfee Show” and criticized the “woke mob” for their reaction to his decision.
“I’m not some sort of anti-vax flat-earther. I’m somebody who’s a critical thinker. I march to the beat of my own drum. I believe strongly in bodily autonomy. Not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or some crazed group of individuals,” Rodgers said.
Did Rodgers’ decision and appearance on McAfee’s show impact the number of State Farm commercials featuring him that were shown over the weekend? It sure seems like it, though the company wouldn’t speak about Rodgers’ vaccination status or comments.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on Aaron’s vaccination status,” a spokesperson of State Farm wrote via email to AdAge.com. “This weekend our marketing focuses on the success of our first-ever Team State Farm Football Find and the unveiling of a new commercial with NFL legend Terry Bradshaw.”
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Still, the significant reduction in Rodgers commercials probably means that the company is looking to distance itself from his recent comments. They aren’t the first one to do that, as Prevea Health — a Green Bay medical group — ended its relationship with Rodgers after his comments as well.
Perhaps State Farm is just temporarily rolling back these spots as Rodgers’ drama blows over. Nonetheless, don’t expect to hear a ton about the Rodgers rate or see Rodgers with “Jake From State Farm” for at least a few weeks — if not, longer.