Borderline-treacly music? Check. Dad defending son against bullies? Check. Almost no dialog? Check.
But are these really the secrets to the success of American Family Insurance’s two-minute, 30-second Web commercial? As of Monday afternoon, “Dad Insurance For Fearless Dreams,” posted on YouTube on June 15, had nearly 4.3 million views. It’s difficult to know exactly why the Father's Day ad succeeded, especially because AmFam spokespeople declined Target Marketing’s request for comment on Monday.
But here are a few reasons consumers are saying they watched the video they said they knew was a commercial, rather than an organic feel-good post:
“So much meaning behind this,” writes Jordan Minter “four days ago” below the YouTube clip. “I'm so moved!! I never thought I'd say this but I've finally given in to an insurance advert.”
Most write that they’ve been the bullied boy or the father, or both. Some actually identify with the bullies coming to the realization that they were wrong to tease a boy.
Even martial arts studios chimed in. (In the video, the father signs his boy up for classes and the video depicts the classes providing the boy with confidence to walk past the bullies in his flamenco dancing outfit.)
On Monday, Vortexic Martial Arts writes on Facebook: “This is a great video! Thank you parents for all you do & students for working so hard!”
Soft, Indirect — Almost Absent — Call to Action
This is what AmFam writes below the YouTube video: “Here’s to all dads out there supporting their kids’ dreams. How did a little #DadInsurance help you find the confidence to #DreamFearlessly? Find out how you can keep dreaming today at http://www.amfam.com/dreams.”
Going to that URL, consumers find more tips on how to realize dreams. There’s nothing saying “buy insurance now.”
Scrolling down to the very bottom of the Web page, the navigation menu says in small type (not a button), “Get a Quote.” Above the navigation menu, site visitors can enter their stories about pursuing their dreams and perhaps being featured on the site.
Videos they can watch, like “Meet the Kid Coaches,” allow viewers to share the videos on Facebook or Twitter. And they have, adding to AmFam’s brand awareness.
Consistent Omnichannel Strategy
On Twitter, AmFam Chairman, CEO and President Jack Salzwedel poses with that exact word on a golf course on June 25 — the final day of the American Family Insurance Championship.
— Jack Salzwedel (@AmFamJack) June 25, 2016
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.