American Family Insurance Wins Telly Award for Multicultural Television Spots Created by the San Jose Group

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Awards program recognizes Hispanic marketing agency the San Jose Group with a Telly for two television commercials that helped American Family Insurance reach both English and Spanish speakers with global truths.

A father teaches his son how to hit a home run in "Batazo"

This is about recognizing and embracing the concept of cultural convergence.

American Family Insurance has been recognized by the Telly Awards for two television spots that targeted both Hispanic and non-Hispanic customers by tapping into global truths linking both segments. Created by its Hispanic advertising agency, the San Jose Group (SJG), the winning 30-second television spots consisted of one Spanish-language execution, titled Batazo (“Hit”), and one English execution, titled Baseball.

Through a planning process led by American Family Insurance and its team of agency partners, the English spot actually evolved from the Spanish execution, which had been developed first. Once the insurer saw the linkages between the messaging of the Spanish version and its broader target market, American Family Insurance asked SJG to reverse-transculturate the Spanish spot into English, to be aired on general market, or English-language, television channels. Together, the spots helped the insurance company measurably increase brand impact across the total market.

“In the planning phase, we started with a total market positioning statement and then applied a cultural lens to reach the Hispanic market with Batazo,” said Lisa Bacus, VP of marketing for American Family Insurance. “Because of this approach, the spot contained universal truths that in turn resonated with our total, multicultural market as well. This is about recognizing and embracing the concept of cultural convergence.”

Both the Batazo and Baseball television spots focus on the relationship between father and son, featuring a scenario where the father is pitching baseballs to the young boy in the front yard. After several misses, the son finally makes contact with the ball, at the expense of the satellite dish on the roof, the garage window and the front hood of their car. The hero of the spot is the American Family Insurance agent, who offers a helping hand and makes everything right after the mishaps. At the heart of the commercial is the universal sentiment of a parent’s deep desire for his child to achieve greatness in life.

“Family is literally our middle name, so there was a clear opportunity for us to talk beyond price and own an emotional connection with the consumer,” added Bacus.

SJG’s Hispanic advertising campaign, consisting of the Batazo television execution, print, radio, out of home, agent support and online advertising, has proven to be successful for American Family Insurance, boosting unaided awareness and enhancing purchase consideration. The English Baseball commercial performed well in ad recall and entertainment value in the general market.

The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions. The 30th Annual Telly Awards received over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Established in 1981, the San Jose Group is a traditional/digital persuasive content agency that specializes in developing innovative marketing communications solutions that connect brands and consumers to their core purpose. The agency’s Convergent Marketing Solutions model is supported by best-in-class business units that embrace today’s converging consumers, markets and channels. The San Jose Group and San Jose Public Relations are members of The San Jose Network Ltd., the largest independent advertising agency network servicing the U.S. and Latin America. For more information visit

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Agatha Kubalski
The San Jose Group
312-565-7000 ext. 447
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