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AOL and American Family Insurance Sign First-of-its-Kind 360° and Virtual Reality Video Partnership

Sep 26, 2016

Exclusive Deal to Drive New Level of Engagement for Brands and Their Customers Through 360° and Virtual Reality Video

NEW YORK CITY -- September 26, 2016 -- In a bold move to push storytelling beyond digital frontiers, into VR, AOL today announced its expansive content creation and distribution partnership with American Family Insurance (AFI) and Mindshare, the media agency that is part of WPP. The campaign leverages the capabilities of AOL’s award-winning Partner Studio and Oscar Nominated HuffPost RYOT to encourage viewers to fearlessly pursue their dreams.

“At American Family we believe dreams are the most important things anyone will ever own. It’s why we’re so excited to use 360° video and virtual reality to bring to life stories of everyday dreamers who are pursuing their passions” says Telisa Yancy, CMO, American Family Insurance. “Partnering with AOL and using their innovative storytelling tech is the perfect way to spread a real, relatable message of inspiration – one that we hope empowers people to overcome their own obstacles and dream fearlessly.”

AFI will be the first to tap into AOL’s full-suite of new solutions and services, and leverage AOL’s premium network, which reaches more than 500 million monthly global consumers. Specifically, this multi-faceted campaign includes:

  • A dedicated editorial platform on The Huffington Post, celebrating, rewarding, and recognizing individuals who are passionately pursuing their dreams.
  • A three-part branded video series that will highlight the men and women who relentlessly pursued their dreams and achieved happiness and success as a result of being fearless. The 360° video series will be accessible across screens and enable viewers to experience the action on the HuffPost RYOT app or through a VR headset.
  • New 360° video that will be enabled across AOL's pre-roll, outstream, interstitial and expandable ad formats for desktop and mobile.
  • AOL research around the development of metrics for 360°/VR consumer and advertiser engagement.

“This is a pivotal moment for AOL and our partners, as we continue to double down on developing the largest content creation platform in the world for brands,” said Jimmy Maymann, EVP and President, Content and Consumer Brands, AOL. “Engaging storytelling is at the core of what we do, and our work with American Family Insurance demonstrates our ability to create immersive content, putting consumers in control of their viewing experience, tapping into new technology like VR.”

The campaign will run from late October until the end of the year.

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About American Family Insurance:
Madison, Wis. - based American Family Insurance is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks 332nd on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web www.amfam.com; Facebook www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter www.twitter.com/amfam; Google+ plus.google.com/+amfam/.

About AOL:
AOL is a media technology company with a mission to connect consumers and creators through open marketplaces. AOL uses data to disrupt content production, distribution and monetization. The company connects publishers with advertisers across its global, programmatic platforms, tapping into Microsoft inventory and original content brands like TechCrunch, The Huffington Post and MAKERS which reach over 500 million monthly global consumers. Within its mobile advertising network alone, AOL has a reach of roughly 800 million users. A subsidiary of Verizon, AOL is shaping the digital future.

About HuffPost RYOT
HuffPost RYOT is an immersive media company based in Los Angeles. Recently acquired by AOL, HuffPost RYOT is one of the most prolific virtual reality and 360° content studios in the world. HuffPost RYOT spotlights global and social issues, creating innovative 360° and virtual and augmented reality experiences for viewers. Their films span five continents and profile courageous individuals, bringing new and innovative stories to the stateside audience. They have received numerous accolades for filmmaking, including a 2016 Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Short, as well as recognition as finalists for both the 2016 Emmy Awards and the 2016 Peabody Awards.

Media Contacts:
Charisse Higgins
charisse.higgins@teamaol.com
(347) 402-4915

Dave Rasmussen
Mindshare
dave.rasmussen@mindshareworld.com
(312) 242-1196

Janet Masters
American Family Insurance
jmasters@amfam.com