American Family Insurance bets on voice recognition with brand-building app
September 3, 2013
American Family Insurance's new app
American Family Insurance has launched a new mobile application as part of a campaign that encourages consumers to dream big while protecting their life and financial assets.
The new American Family Insurance Ask Russell app lets consumers chat with National Football League player Russell Wilson with a voice-activated feature. American Family Insurance worked with Mindshare and Ogilvy & Mather to develop the campaign.
"We believe dreams are the most valuable things you will ever own,” said Telisa Yancy, marketing vice president at American Family Insurance, Madison, WI.
“We also know that sharing and talking with others about how they achieved their own dreams is a great way to become inspired to pursue and protect your own,” she said. “Russell's story of how he is achieving and pursuing his dreams is incredible and well suited for this groundbreaking app."
American Family Insurance is using the app to give consumers an exclusive opportunity to ask Mr. Wilson candid questions about his dreams on and off the sports field.
Consumers can speak directly into the app using a voice feature and ask questions with several answers that correlate to recorded answers.
For example, app users that are interested in Mr. Wilson's sports career can specify if they want to learn more about the athlete’s professional, college or baseball career.
A screenshot of the app
American Family Insurance is also running a sweepstakes in the app through Sept. 21 that boosts the brand’s Twitter and Facebook presences.
Consumers can follow American Family Insurance on Twitter and Facebook to find questions to ask Mr. Williams via the app. Consumers can then speak the answer into the app for a chance at winning prizes such as a signed jersey.
There are also links to American Family Insurance’s microsite that is optimized for mobile within the app. Consumers can learn more about how the dream campaign fits into the brand’s overall vision via the site.
"The app is meant to reflect American Family's core commitment to enable
and protect its customers' dreams," said Becca Morris, Chicago-based
account supervisor at Ogilvy & Mather.
"With any type of branding effort, we strive to raise awareness on behalf of the company, while always remaining true to our core mission of enabling dreams," she said.
To promote the new app, American Family Insurance is leveraging its television spots with a mobile call-to-action that is powered by Zoove.
The 30-second TV spot features Mr. Wilson and encourages consumers to download the app to ask the sports star questions about his dreams and inspirations.
A call-out and copy at the end of the ad prompts users to call **Dreams from their mobile devices to download the app.
The mobile call-to-action
Once a consumer makes the call, a recording of Mr. Wilson plays and users are automatically sent an SMS message with a link to open the app store, where they can download the Ask Russell app straight to their device.
The mobile calls-to-action will run in American Family Insurance’s ads through the remainder of the year.
Since American Family Insurance’s app is primarily focused on brand building, adding a mobile call-to-action into a TV spot makes the ad more interactive for viewers.
“American Family Insurance did a really good job at storybuilding versus storytelling, and that is where mobile is at its greatest strength, especially with brand commercials,” said Joe Gillespie, CEO of Zoove Corp., Palo Alto, CA.
“Digital is accused of not having the emotional power of TV, but when you download the app, this experience is quite the opposite,” he said.
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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