American Family Insurance and MTV Team Up to Get Teens and Parents Talking About Driving Risks

AFI's Teen Safe Driver Program Reveals How a 'Backseat Driver' Might Help Save the Lives of Young Drivers and the People Around Them

Oct 25, 2010, 12:41 ET from American Family Insurance

MADISON, Wis., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- American Family Insurance, Mindshare and MTV are expanding efforts to help teen drivers stay safe and alive through an integrated marketing campaign that includes affiliations with two MTV-produced series.

The campaign features American Family's Teen Safe Driver program, which recently earned the National Safety Council's Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award for its contributions to preventing crashes, injuries and deaths involving teen drivers.

"More teens die in car accidents than any other cause in this country, and we need to continue to look for ways to raise awareness and reduce these tragedies," said Lisa Bacus, American Family vice president of Marketing.

"This campaign addresses the issue at the foundation, creatively reaching out to young drivers and their parents to have conversations that can be life-savers in the formative driving years."

The efforts mark the second consecutive year that American Family, Mindshare and MTV have partnered to reduce teen crashes.  They follow last year's "Road to the Woodies" campaign, featuring a Nebraska teen as she participated in a series of challenging road tests in hopes of winning a trip to MTV's Woodie Awards.  Episodes included video and audio footage of the teen's performance using American Family's Teen Safe Driver in-car camera.  

Elements of this year's campaign include:

Road Trip Adventure micro series: This six-part co-branded entertainment micro-series began airing in mid-October as a podbuster during the second season of MTV's The Buried Life. The micro series follows three friends as they embark on a road trip across America to scratch things off of their bucket list.  

Parts of the series will be filmed with the Teen Safe Driver in-car camera so viewers can see how these young drivers naturally confront challenging driving situations and handle them responsibly and safely.

The micro-series includes five original episodes, while the sixth is a recap of the season that will also run during additional MTV programming to drive people online to watch.

In addition to the micro-series, a PSA featuring The Buried Life cast highlights tips about how to stay safe on the road.  At the end of the PSA, viewers are directed online to to check out the Road Trip Adventure episodes, behind the scenes footage, and enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000 by signing American Family's Teen Safe Driver pledge.

The Ride reality series: A second element of the campaign is a branded integration with MTV2's upcoming reality series The Ride, which features eight high school quarterbacks as the participate in a training camp with NFL coaches.  A winner is selected to play in a national high school all-star game, the U.S. Army All American Bowl, to be broadcast on NBC on Jan. 8.  

American Family will sponsor the "Safety Zone" confessional, during which coaches talk to the players about their performance on the field – and in one episode talk to them about their responsibilities behind the wheel.

In addition to the quarterback competition, high school band members compete for a spot on the All American Band.  As each member is selected, a pep rally is thrown for the football and band members chosen to participate.  American Family is onsite this fall at those schools in the 19 states where it operates, raising awareness for the MTV programs and encouraging teens to take the pledge.

"Our partnership with American Family Insurance provides us with a unique opportunity to create innovative and proprietary multi-platform co-branded campaigns that connect with millennial viewers" said Dan Lovinger, senior vice president, MTV Sales and Integrated Marketing.  

"By using The Buried Life as a creative launch pad, we were able to develop Road Trip Adventure into a custom micro-series that fits contextually within the program environment and, ultimately, helps spread the word about the importance of teen driver safety."

About The Teen Safe Driver Program

More than 9,000 families have enrolled in the Teen Safe Driver program, decreasing risky driving behavior by more than 70 percent. Introduced in 2007 in association with DriveCam Inc., Teen Safe Driver Program is available at no cost to American Family auto insurance customers who have beginning drivers in their household.

The program provides teens and their parents an in-vehicle video and audio unit that captures risky driving behaviors. Parents log in to to view the driving report card, video events and coaching tips, including objective, third-party assessment of the teen driver's driving performance compared with other teens.

About American Family Insurance

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family ranks 344th on the Fortune 500 list and is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company.

SOURCE American Family Insurance