A Dad Protects His Son's Dreams in This 'Billy-Elliot'-Inspired Tale

American Family Insurance's Father's Day Ad Brings Emotion to the Forefront

Published On
Jun 15, 2016

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Ahead of Father's Day on Sunday, American Family Insurance has rolled out a moving tale of a dad who takes a curious approach to protecting his son's dreams.

The two-and-a-half-minute spot centers on a boy who aspires to be a dancer. As he sits in his room intently watching the moves of a flamenco dancer on his phone, his father comes in with a package. To the boy's disappointment, it turns out to be a judo uniform.

The dad quietly encourages his son to begin taking martial arts classes, walking him to each session as neighborhood bullies hurl insults and the boy. As the son's discipline and self-confidence grows, he moves through a rainbow of belts to top his competitors and wins a trophy.

Fast forward, and the dad once again enters his son's room with a package, but this time, it holds a red and black dancer's outfit. Proudly, the boy wears the costume as he walks alone down the block, ignoring and impressing the neighborhood boys who had been poking fun at him all along. At the end of the video, the screen reads, "When you're pursuing a dream, it helps to have the right insurance first."

The spot is part of the Madison, Wisc.-based insurer's "Insure Carefully. Dream Fearlessly" campaign and follows an ad from earlier this spring in which a girl dreams of becoming an astronaut. The idea behind the work is to highlight the hard work and sacrifice many consumers endure in order to realize their dreams, which often include home and car ownership.

Focusing on the emotional seriousness of such passions is a different strategy from AFI's competitors, which often resort to humor in their marketing. Allstate and State Farm have recently rolled out new taglines in an effort to win over new customers.

BBDO, which has worked with AFI since 2014, created the new film. Jamie Rafn directed out of Smuggler. The video will be promoted on the AFI website and on Twitter through sponsored moments as the brand asks consumers to use the hashtag #dadinsurance.

In 2015, AFI spent $194.5 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.