Ad Of The Week: American Family Insurance

Dream Car

American Family Insurance


American Family Insurance is a brand with plenty of heritage – and a brand that knows the value of long-running campaigns and distinctive assets. For at least a decade, its ads have taken the theme of insurance which lets people secure their dreams, with BBDO creating its recent work under the tagline “Insure Carefully, Dream Fearlessly”.

AmFam’s latest pair of ads, launched last week, have no characters or storylines in common – but they do share this tagline and the central scenario of insurance letting people realise youthful dreams. The spots blend realistic childhood play – like a boy with a toy car – with visualisations of what might be going on in the kids’ heads – like breakneck races and stunts on a breakfast table.

Both ads – the car-themed “Dream Car Policy” and the rowing-themed “Training Ground Policy” – scored a strong 4-Stars, a very consistent performance in a category that can be rather dry and negative in its advertising. It’s easy to see why they did well – “Dream Car” mixes entertaining action with a bit of mystery and a relatable emotional payoff; “Training Ground” relies more on the emotional pull of its child lead actor.

Training Ground Policy

American Family Insurance


What’s also interesting is how well both spots perform on the short-term Spike measurement – a strong 1.34 for “Dream Car” and 1.29 for “Training Ground”. Here they have a possible secret weapon – AmFam’s sing-song jingle, which turns up at the start and end of each ad, after a few years when it’s been left out. The jingle dates back decades, and is a fine example of sonic branding – instantly recognisable if you know it. Including it in the ads means AmFam can lay off the heavier elements of branding (logos and explicit messages) until the end.

Jingles have been a staple of advertising for years, and these ads show why – a jingle gives you a way to make a branded impact for even the lowest-attention viewer or listener, and they can help free up space for better storytelling and emotional impact in the main body of the ad. Like most assets, they take time to build, but their potency should not be underrated.