American Family Insurance Taps Pint-Size Coaches in New Campaign

Firm Evolves Its 'Insure Carefully. Dream Fearlessly' Message With Digital Site and New Spots

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American Family Insurance rolls out new campaign.
American Family Insurance rolls out new campaign. Credit: American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance is bringing in some pint-size coaches to help its customers fulfill their dreams. On Monday, the Madison, Wisc.-based company is rolling out a new campaign and website featuring five-and six-year-olds doling out advice on overcoming obstacles like not having enough time, support, confidence or resources.

The campaign, which is the next iteration in the "Insure carefully. Dream fearlessly" tagline introduced last year, also includes three TV spots. In "Free to Dream," which will debut in both 30-and 60-second versions, a young girl plays at being an astronaut while her parents help make her pursuits possible. The insurer will also air commercials focused around home insurance and auto insurance.

"The first spot is a thoughtful metaphor to bring our tagline to life," said Anne Norman, brand and creative manager at the insurer. She noted that American Family purposely aimed for a more emotional approach to insurance. "Our competitors invest a lot of money in advertising but often trivialize insurance and the role it plays in people's lives," she added. "That's what makes us different—we believe that the very things that people have insurance for, homes they live in and cars they drive, actually required a lot of hard work and sacrifice."

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American Family worked with BBDO New York, which has been a partner since 2014, on the campaign; the spots will roll out regionally to the 19 states where the insurer does business.

"One of those times in life when we felt free to dream big was childhood, and the connection felt very strong to us. If you were lucky, you felt truly protected then," said Susan Golkin, executive creative director at BBDO New York. "American Family can help you reignite that feeling."

This is the first time the brand created a website featuring curated content, Ms. Norman noted. Consumers can get pre-recorded advice from 15 different children as part of the digital portion of the campaign. Mirum, a J. Walter Thompson Co.-owned agency, created the feature. Mindshare handled media buying duties.

"We took the approach with kids as dream coaches because children are not stifled by perceived obstacles, like time constraints, lack of confidence or the fear of failure," said AJ Scherbring, a creative director at Mirum. "Their untainted advice reminds adults of what is possible and frees us to pursue our dreams."

The insurer declined to say how much it spent on the new marketing. In 2015, the company spent $194.5 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.

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