American Family Insurance and MTV team up to put a teen driver's skills to the test in a new short-form series

Madison, Wis. (Oct. 19, 2009) — American Family Insurance has partnered with MTV and Mindshare Entertainment to reach teenagers directly on an issue that can save their lives — the passage they must make from new, inexperienced driver to confident, capable young adult driver.

The integrated marketing effort includes a five-episode series, "The Road to the Woodies," in which a teenage driver navigates closed-course obstacles and typical teen distractions to improve her driving skills using American Family Insurance's proprietary Teen Safe Driver program.

The integrated promotion kicks off today, the first day of National Teen Driver Safety Week, with the launch of a co-branded microsite about teen driving:

"Teens must overcome significant challenges as beginning drivers," said Lisa Bacus, vice president of marketing for American Family Insurance. "The MTV campaign illustrates the challenges real teens face and, with the use of the innovative technology of the Teen Safe Driver Program, shows how direct involvement from parents vastly improves their driving habits."

The reality-based microseries features Lauren, a typical teenager, as she completes four driving challenges on a closed course to prove to her family that she is a safe and responsible driver. If successful, she wins tickets to the 2009 mtvU Woodie Awards in New York City. The challenges will air in four two-minute segments premiering Oct. 28 during MTV's "The Ruins."

As she navigates the course, Lauren is tested by surprise calls and texts from her family and friends while driving, and she also receives highway driving tips from experts like 2006 Indy Pro champion Jay Howard.

All the while, Lauren's parents will view her driving "report card" through Teen Safe Driver's unique in-vehicle video and audio unit that captures risky driving behaviors and provides expert analysis and coaching tips.

The short-form series will culminate with the fifth segment airing during the Woodies on Friday, Dec. 4, on MTV, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

MTV, along with Mindshare Entertainment, also produced a co-branded sweepstakes for another viewer to attend the 2009 mtvU Woodie Awards.

Beginning today, participants can enter the sweepstakes at While on the site, visitors can virtually "sign" a safe-driving pledge, test their safe-driving knowledge, learn more safe-driving tips from American Family, and watch each of the "The Road to the Woodies" episodes.

Teen Safe Driver is a pioneering program offered exclusively through American Family Insurance that combines technology, expert advice and parental involvement to help young drivers overcome learning-to-drive challenges. American Family, in association with DriveCam Inc., provides the year-long Teen Safe Driver at no cost to American Family auto insurance customers who have a beginning teen driver in their household.

The program is now available in all 19 of American family's operating states and is highly touted by current users. More than 6,000 families have participated in the program, with teens averaging a 70 percent decrease in high-risk driving events. Research has shown direct involvement from parents vastly improves teens' driving habits.

"The campaign we built with American Family Insurance delivers a truly effective message about safe driving for our young adult audience," said John Shea, EVP, Integrated Marketing & Branded Content, MTV Music/Logo Group. "We've combined our content to create a branded entertainment series that meshes perfectly with the MTV programming it'll be seen alongside, providing a positive experience for our viewers and American Family."

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family insurance is the nationís third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 388th on the Fortune 500 list. Web:; Facebook:; Twitter: