NEW YORK, NY - The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) awarded American Family Insurance and its multicultural agency Elite Media three prizes at the organization’s 20th Annual Multicultural Excellence Awards. The pair were honored in the “African American” and “Experiential” categories for their work, “TIME’s The March, Made Possible by American Family Insurance.” They also won in the “Total Market” category for their commercial, “Training Ground Policy.”
In a virtual ceremony on December 16, American Family Insurance and Elite won the Grand Prize in the “African American” category for a supporting event and video content that saluted and raised awareness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, based on “The March,” a virtual reality (VR) installation. American Family and Elite created an immersive educational experience that extended the VR exhibit, giving local Chicago students early access to the VR technology and creating content to further extend its reach. American Family supported TIME and the King Estate to replicate Dr. King’s likeness, speech, and the hundreds of thousands of people who marched with him using groundbreaking technology. Mindshare, American Family’s media agency, helped broker the partnership with TIME.
“We wanted to help protect and preserve Dr. King’s legacy.
"It’s important for us to educate the next generation of dreamers about Dr. King’s fearlessness in order to inspire them to pursue their own dreams of changing the world,” said Sherina Smith, American Family vice president of marketing. “Our goal was to use innovation and technology to help Americans better understand the collective history of peaceful protests and activism in the fight for equality … to demonstrate that fearless dreamers change the world.”
American Family and Elite also won in the “Total Market” category for ‘“Training Ground Policy,” a spot created as part of American Family’s “Keep People Fearless” campaign, meant to drive awareness and consideration of the company’s range of insurance products. The company’s tagline “Insure Carefully, Dream Fearlessly” is leveraged throughout the work. “The campaign is part of our ongoing commitment to using our marketing efforts to keep consumers fearlessly moving towards their dreams,” Smith said.
“Training Ground Policy” is about a young African American girl who dreams of breaking barriers by leading her rowing team to victory in a sport in which black women are highly underrepresented.
Smith said it is important for American Family’s customers to see themselves represented, which is why the company developed a spot incorporating African American casting and insights to lead their marketing efforts.
Telisa Yancy, American Family chief operating officer, also noted American Family is a purpose-led, customer-driven insurance company, and its commitment to diversity, inclusion and social justice goes beyond advertising.
“It’s paramount for our organization to deliberately align our business practices so we close equity gaps and continue the fight for social justice,” Yancy said.
“We do that internally by including diversity, equity and inclusion into our corporate strategy. It is also demonstrated when we make decisions to provide more than $500 million back to our customers through premium relief during the pandemic. Our customers and communities are better served when dreams are not only inspired, but also fulfilled. We are honored to receive this recognition and will continue to invest in expanding equity and social justice. This is what our customers and consumers have come to expect from leading, impactful companies.”