American Family Insurance Taps Derek Jeter and John Legend

New Brand Ambassadors Continue Insurer's 'Insure Carefully, Dream Fearlessly' Campaign

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After adding former New York Yankee Derek Jeter to its brand ambassador roster in May, American Family Insurance is rolling out new spots featuring the baseball great. On Monday, the Madison, Wisc.-based company will air commercials with Mr. Jeter and its other brand ambassadors, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and Houston Texans NFL player JJ Watt. The new spots, which continue the insurer's "Insure carefully. Dream fearlessly" tagline introduced last year, will include music from John Legend, another new ambassador.

In one spot, a young boy thinks he is appearing on a talk show to speak about his mother, but actually gets to meet his hero, Mr. Durant. In another, the athletes work with non-profit School on Wheels to educate children living on the streets. A third commercial features the spokesmen helping a small business.

"We're exemplifying the types of dreams that separate people," said Telisa Yancy, chief marketing officer at American Family. "These aren't the wish-on-a-star dreams, but these people are out there every day, putting in hard work." The company has a total of seven ambassadors. Ms. Yancy noted the need for authentic connections to provide a real message to American Family's customers.

The brand has said in the past that it prefers more realistic stories as a way of breaking through the clutter of insurance marketing, where competitors typically use a heavy dose of humor to attract customers.

The three videos will appear in long versions online and air on TV in 30-second clips. The campaign will also include radio and digital advertising. American Family, which spent $194.5 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media, worked with BBDO New York and Elite Media on the push.

"They are not just supporting dreamers, they are rolling up their sleeves getting in there and helping," said Susan Golkin, exec creative director at BBDO New York.

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