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September 23, 2010   Email to Friend 

New 'Right There With You' Ad Campaign Debuts
Marc Pearson

An Alfa agent consoles a policyholder whose teenage daughter has been in a car accident, then works into the evening making sure the paperwork is in order. A customer service representative helps a mother and her sons save money on their car insurance by identifying discounts. An Alfa claims adjuster changes his weekend plans to help a policyholder in need. And an agent and his wife interact with their neighbors and customers at a fall festival.

These are the kind of real-world situations portrayed in Alfa's new television commercials, which hit the airwaves Aug. 23. Director of Public Relations and Communications Jeff Helms said the new campaign's honest depiction of Alfa's extraordinary customer service is a refreshing approach to advertising.

"At Alfa, we don't have to use elaborate special effects or cartoon characters to tell our story," Helms said. "Our employees' commitment to service speaks for itself. In fact, the scenarios depicted in the 'Right there with you' advertising campaign were inspired by testimonials from Alfa agents. As we sought to align the advertising message with Alfa's vision for being the leader in personal service, it seemed natural to focus on the company's strongest brand attributes."

Research conducted prior to production of the new television spots revealed four hallmarks of the Alfa brand: agent relationships, claims service, community connection and financial value. These strengths provided the foundation for the new campaign.

"I am really excited about these new commercials because they showcase the strengths of our company and dedicated field force," said Senior Vice President of Marketing Services Carol Golsan. "Every day our agents, adjusters and CSRs are providing remarkable customer service in ways similar to the situations in these commercials. It's important to remind both existing and potential customers of this service so they fully understand the value of being a part of the Alfa family. These commercials do just that."

One of two commercials that began airing in August is called "Get Well Soon." It builds on the relationships Alfa agents have with policyholders by showing an Alfa employee working late at night and comforting a family whose child is in the hospital. His last bit of paperwork is a get well soon card to the teenage driver.

Also airing this fall is "County Fair." Its focus is the connection Alfa personnel have with their communities. Set at a carnival, the advertisement shows an agent and his wife interacting with friends and neighbors -- who just happen to be customers. The genuine interest the agent shows in his policyholders is typical of the way Alfa employees are involved in the communities they serve.

In January, the "Right there with you" tagline will take on deeper meaning with the debut of two more commercials, "Car Wash" and "Twins."

"Car Wash" capitalizes on Alfa's reputation for top-rated claims service by showing an adjuster taking a break from washing his car to help a farmer who's had a wreck. The spot uses warm, compelling photography to tell the story in a humorous way while driving home the point that Alfa is there for its policyholders when they need it most.

Finally, "Twins" focuses on the competitive pricing and value of Alfa automobile insurance by highlighting several discounts available to drivers. The commercial takes advantage of a natural, good-hearted sibling rivalry to emphasize that no matter your situation, Alfa has a policy that's priced just right.

In all four commercials, Alfa personnel are portrayed as responsive, helpful, knowledgeable and neighborly.

Prior to production, numerous advertising concepts were tested with focus groups in Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville. Each group included Alfa, Allstate and State Farm customers, as well as additional participants with either Geico, Progressive, Farmers or another competitor. Some concepts that showed agents going the extra mile to help policyholders were considered "unrealistic" by customers of other companies, but in every group, Alfa policyholders vouched that Alfa does indeed provide extraordinary personal service.

This is a testament to the Alfa employees whose commitment, hard work and compassion have shaped Alfa's brand image. It's these attributes that "Right there with you" celebrates. To ensure the campaign message is communicated clearly and consistently, photos, phrases and music from the television commercials are being used in print advertising, radio spots and Internet ads. Co-op advertising is also being developed based on the "Right there with you" campaign.

Alfa's partner for the television campaign is Luckie and Company of Birmingham. Luckie won the account through a competitive bid process that started with about 20 Southeastern advertising agencies and concluded with three agencies presenting creative concepts to the Advertising Governance Committee. The director for the television spots was Charlie Cole, whose clients include Publix and Longhorn.

In addition to producing four television commercials that are more closely aligned with Alfa's brand and corporate goals, the year-long advertising review also established benchmarks for marketing research and allowed the company to better utilize in-house creative and research capabilities. As a result, Alfa was able to substantially reduce production costs and shift those resources into television, radio, print and Internet placement.

Most importantly, the "Right there with you" campaign is true to the heritage, reputation and identity of Alfa. It elevates Alfa employees and celebrates their dedication in delivering the company's promise.

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