financial services

American Family Renews Entertainment Plan


American Family Insurance is renewing its multifaceted branded entertainment marketing campaign that includes NBC Universal and MSN and beginning a new relationship with WildTangent.

The new deal includes a Latino financial advice microsite and an insurance-focused social simulation game. The program integrates entertainment and education to engage consumers with the brand, its products and its agents.

The campaign is "uniquely suited to connect with consumers about issues that matter most to them -- community, family and financial self-reliance," according to the Madison, Wis.-based insurer, which offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states.

Media agency Mindshare handled the deal, which includes distribution across digital, video-on-demand, and offline media. Telisa Yancy, American Family Insurance ad director of advertising, says the deal is "the largest integrated marketing success in the company's history."

"In Gayle We Trust" marks the first time that NBC Universal Digital has renewed a Web series for a second season. BuildingABrighterFuture. com has been relaunched to provide consumers with the latest expert, personal finance advice on, and "iAMFAM," a new online social simulation game developed in partnership with WildTangent, is aimed at helping Americans start a family, manage a career, or buy and maintain a house.

Mindshare Entertainment co-produced and oversaw all the content for the campaign, including the Web series "In Gayle We Trust" with NBC Universal Digital Studios and with MSN, which provides consumers with the latest expert personal finance advice.

While each American Family Insurance-sponsored program delivers against a separate marketing strategy, all three are aligned by a similar theme emphasizing American Family Insurance agents' role as advisers.

This campaign integrates individual media partners with a theme that draws consumers from one to the next. All three campaign elements launch in July 2010. "In Gayle We Trust" is a 10-episode digital series which follows the lives of the fictional residents of Maple Grove. Insurance agent Gayle Evans who serves as an adviser to the town's idiosyncratic clientele.

The show in 2009 resulted in a purchase-intent increase of 24% for American Family Insurance, 12 times the normal average for online marketing, and a 30% increase of people identifying the brand as "innovative."

"We saw fantastic results from our campaign last year indicating that the series and online resources were well-received by the public," Yancy says. "We anticipate that this year we will continue to see increased traffic and engagement on our campaign Web sites, widespread viewership of our Web series, and increased agent interaction." offers families personal finance advice. Featuring MSN's Liz Weston, the site offers video shorts, tip sheets, a blog and interactive tools. This year American Family Insurance will help introduce the first Latino MSN/Branded Entertainment and Experiences microsite, Creando Futuros Brillantes, hosted by Latino finance expert Elianne Gonzalez.

Finally, iAMFAM is a social simulation game where players grow and nurture a virtual family by maintaining day-to-day and major financial decisions. Happiness, the overall goal of the game, is maximized by fulfilling players' goals and making sure that their physical, mental, and financial health is at the highest levels. The game is developed for the Facebook platform, enabling players to invite their Facebook friends to become neighbors who can visit and interact with each other's virtual houses.

American Family Insurance protects players from financial setbacks. All the individual media partner elements are digitally linked and provide an American Family Insurance agent locator tool. The sites also feature the capacity for consumers to engage with the company through the use of interactive tools without leaving the portal. They also link to an updated site offering new interactive information and quoting tools.

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