BBDO NY Makes Dreams Real for American Family Insurance

By Erik Oster 

Jennifer Hudson stars in BBDO New York’s regional Super Bowl ad for American Family Insurance, entitled “Dreams Made Real,” alongside “a cast of five actual dreamers who are hoping to realize their own ambitions.”

The spot, which launches the brand’s “Dream Fearlessly” campaign is set in a 1940s diner, with Hudson and company performing a version of Chicago group the Five Stairsteps’ 1970 hit “O-o-h Child.” At the beginning of the 60-second spot the text “You’re about to see dreams become real” appears onscreen, followed by the performance and a director yelling cut. The “undiscovered performers” take the spotlight for the beginning of the ad, handing off the lead to Hudson at around the midway point.

The ad breaks this Sunday with a regional Super Bowl placement in 70 different markets, supported by digital, print and radio. There’s also a social component calling on viewers to tweet their dreams with the hashtag #DreamFearlessly. The ad will continue to air during “other high-visibility television programs throughout the year,” including regional broadcast spots during the Grammy and Academy Awards.

“Our mission is to inspire, protect and restore dreams,”said Telisa Yancy, marketing vice president at American Family. “We take this very seriously and hope that people will walk away from this commercial recognizing that we are committed to be the champion of dreams. We thank Jennifer for helping us deliver this important message.”


The Cast of Five Dreamers:

Rashawn Thompson, teaching artist – Chicago, IL

Megan Schemmel, paralegal – Chicago, IL

Kyle Hustedt, entertainer, freelance designer and bartender – Chicago, IL

Dominick Basso, substitute teacher and boys gymnastics coach – Mundelein, IL

Lou Leonardo, Human Resources manager, Chicago, IL


Agency: BBDO New York

Client: American Family Insurance

Title: “Dreams”


Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars

Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn

Executive Creative Director: Michael Aimette

ACD/Copywriter: Judd Counsell

ACD/Art Director: Anne Lac


Group Executive Producer: Anthony Nelson

Senior Producer: Darbi Fretwell

Producer: BreeAnn Stuart

Executive Music Producer: Rani Vaz


Senior Account Director: Jim Santora

Senior Account Director: Amy Hefti

Account Manager: Sara Plotkin


Production Company: RSA

Executive Producer: Tracie Norfleet

Director:  Jake Scott

Director of Photography: Chris Soos

Line Producer: David Mitchell

Production Supervisor: Jason Groves


Music Production: Search Party

Music Supervisor: Randall Poster

Music Producer: Meghan Currier

Music Producer/Arranger: Stewart Lerman

Music Arranger: David Forman


Editorial Company: NO6NY

Executive Producer: Corina Dennison

Producer: Malia Rose

Editor: Justin Quagliata

Assistant Editor: Ryan Bukowski

VFX Artist: Ed Skupeen


Recording Studio: Heard City

Mixer/Sound Designer: Philip Loeb

Senior Producer: Sasha Awn


Telecine:  Company 3

Colorist: Tim Masick

Producer: Rochelle Brown


Graphics House: Imaginary Forces

Designer/Animator: Griffin Frazen

Executive Producer: Sarah Roebuck