American Family features familiar “American families” in new advertising campaign

Madison, Wis. (March 27, 2008) –Television viewers throughout American Family Insurance’s 18-state operating territory are getting reacquainted with three familiar American families, courtesy of the insurance company’s new advertising campaign.

The first advertisement – featuring the instantly recognizable “Brady Bunch” set – premiered in early March and will run well into April. Viewers will recognize the second and third commercials as homages to the Gothic TV family “The Munsters” and the bucolic hijinks of Manhattan transplants Oliver and Lisa Douglas of “Green Acres.”

“These new commercials accomplish several objectives,” said Toni Gnewuch, American Family’s advertising and brand management director. “In addition to striking a chord with people who grew up watching these iconic TV sitcoms, the commercials drive home the idea that American Family Insurance understands our customers and their needs.”

American Family understands when a son’s model volcano erupts on family guests, or when a father-in-law turns himself into a bat. (For the record, optional coverage can be purchased for full-scale volcano eruptions. We consider bat transformations on a claim-by-claim basis.)

The “American Families” campaign was developed by the Chicago-based advertising agency Element 79. In addition to the television commercials, the campaign includes radio, print, online and out-of-home advertising that will begin appearing later this month.

“The campaign is built around trust and familiarity between the American Family Insurance agent and his or her customers,” said Joe Burke, Element79 group creative director. “To demonstrate this, we looked for families who live very active and chaotic lives. In real life, families appreciate American Family Insurance and their agents for how well they know them and how they respond to their insurance needs.”

“American Family has helped families handle a variety of surprises throughout our more than 80 years in business,” Gnewuch said. “Weaving our jingle into the commercials creates an unmistakable identity for us.”  

“The Brady Bunch” appeared on ABC-TV from 1969 to 1974. “Green Acres” ran on CBS-TV from 1965 to 1971, and “The Munsters” aired on CBS-TV from 1964 to 1966. All three shows continue to run in syndication on cable television.

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance in 18 states. American Family ranks 338 on the Fortune 500 list and is the nation’s third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company. For more information, visit

Founded in 2001, Element 79 is a part of Omnicom Group, Inc.  Element 79 creates business building brand idea platforms for its clients and specializes in executing ideas in both the digital/online arena and via traditional media. Clients include Alberto Culver, American Family Insurance, Central DuPage Hospital, Discover Card, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Celebrity Cruises, ConAgra Foods, Gatorade, Harris Bank, Leap Wireless, LPGA, Quaker, Supercuts and Tropicana.  For more information, visit