The State Farm’s “State of Disbelief” commercial pokes fun at our current generation living in a world where we undoubtedly believe everything that is seen or heard on the Internet. We see two main characters in the commercial, a man and a woman, each representing different entities. The man uses the Stat Farm Pocket Agent application on his smart phone to diagram a car accident he just had. He informs his neighbor additional information about State Farm and the advantages of the mobile application. However, his neighbor questions the man by stating that she thought State Farm didn’t have all those functions. When asked where she heard that information, she confidently says, “the Internet.” She adds with an even more assured tone that “they can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.” When the man asks again where his neighbor heard that information, they answer simultaneously and acknowledge “the Internet.”

State Farm clearly targets the Generation X audience, who is “defined by a savvy cynicism and apprehension toward the hype-ridden market that colors and complicated the act of ‘defining self in terms of consumption’” (Leiss et al, 483). Identified by Goldman and Papson, this commercial that targets today’s savvy consumer contains the elements of “sanctioned negativity” and “humor and irony as the way through cynicism” (Leiss, 483). We see a negativity of our social world as today’s generation accepts everything that is on the web. The woman serves as a representative of those people. She would rather believe an online database so open and vulnerable to false information than what is shown right in front of her eyes – her neighbor actually using the mobile application. Humor and irony is added as she acknowledges the fact that her firm belief and trust toward the Internet is also based on the same source. Moreover, even after she states that her opinion is based on what she read on the Internet, she believes a man she met online is a French model when the viewers can clearly tell that he is not. It is funny but it is also a clear indicator that we have too dependent on the Internet and current technological resources to the extent in which we do not realize the truth but rather live in a “state of disbelief”.”

The viewers become subjects of ideology as the cultural text of the advertisement invites us to identify with the ideology and the normative view. As illustrated by Goldman and Papson, the advertisement socially and culturally constructs a world where we are subjects to the massive online database that gives an answer to everything. And it promotes a normative view of our world and our relationships by subjecting us in a certain way. State Farm uses the man in the commercial to present itself as a reliable source, unlike the Internet, because it actually exists in the hands of us on our smart phones. With the incorporation of elements that target the Generation X audience, State Farm both speaks about our generation today and establishes its place to stand.

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