American Family Insurance Finds a New Lead Agency

BBDO takes on a brand that spends $150 million in media annually

BBDO has outstripped Grey to claim lead creative responsibilities on American Family Insurance, which spent more than $150 million in media last year.

The two shops emerged as finalists for the account, which had been at the Chicago office of Ogilvy & Mather. Ogilvy created the marketer's Super Bowl ad this year featuring Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and a voiceover from Harry Belafonte.

American Family split with Ogilvy, however, after insurance rival Nationwide tapped the agency's New York office to handle a creative assignment featuring Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

The timing of the current decision leads some observers to wonder if AFI wanted an agency on board in time for another spot in the next Super Bowl. The New York office of BBDO will lead the account.

In a statement, AFI vp of marketing Telisa Yancy said the new agency would "play a significant role in helping us to continue to change the mindset of consumers about insurance."

The selection does not impact AFI's other roster shops, which include Mindshare and CommonGround. Blamer Partnership helped manage the search.