BBDO N.Y., AmFam, J.J. Watt and Kevin Durant Support Other People’s Dreams

By Patrick Coffee 

Oh hey, were you aware that a major professional sports league just started its newest season?!

If there’s one thing advertising needs, it’s more football and basketball players hawking unrelated products. In its newest campaign for American Family Insurance, BBDO New York recruited the Texans’ J.J. Watt and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder (both of whom have great press agents) to discuss why “Everyone’s Dream Needs a Champion.”

Get ready to admire Mr. Watt even more than you already do.

This is one of those rare campaigns for which you really do need to read the press release and visit the “Dream Fearlessly” microsite. Why are these beefy millionaires visiting seemingly random Americans? Because they have dreams, dammit–and the two athletes “epitomize the company’s belief in people who show the courage, determination and resiliency to achieve their various dreams.”


The release doesn’t quite explain how the client chose these particular dreamers, who are working toward personal goals like running a marathon and being a nurse. But we assume they submitted their names and dreams via social media in the hopes of meeting their beefcake heroes…who in turn played the part of “fans” complete with magic marker signs. They support these Americans’ dreams just as the client’s insurance product provides a safety net to let those dreams go wild.

As Watt puts it, “when the tables are turned, it’s pretty cool to be someone else’s fan.”

The client’s VP of marketing Telisa Yancy writes, “Insurance is about so much more than policies, price and contracts…our promise is to provide all of our customers a champion every day, not just in the event of a claim.” Uh huh. You get it.

The spots will appear locally in the 19 states where AmFam operates; the campaign will also include print, digital and social advertising, which totally works.

Can you tell that we don’t give a shit about pro sports?


Agency: BBDO New York
Client: American Family Insurance
Title: “Signs of Support”

Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Michael Aimette
Senior Creative Director: Juliana Cobb
Senior Creative Director: Eric Goldstein
ACD/Copywriter: Rich Singer
ACD/Art Director: Zack Menna
Senior Producer: Becky Burkhard
Producer (Post): Cordelia Kipp
Executive Music Producer: Rani Vaz
Senior Account Director: Jim Santora
Account Director: Kelly Harrington
Account Manager: Sara Plotkin
Account Executive: Justin Choy
Production Company: Workhouse
Director: Brendan Malloy
Director of Photography: Giles Dunning
Music House: Beacon Street Studios
Edit / Visual Effects House: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Frank Snider
Post Producer: Lisa Barnable
Producer: Mike Tockman
Flame Artist: Edward Reina