A familiar face will remind potential customers of Alfa Insurance’s Southern values as the company unveils a new advertising campaign this fall featuring Sean Dietrich.
Known as Sean of the South, the author, humorist and podcast host has earned a loyal following for his comical and heartwarming commentary on the people, places and traditions of the region.
Jeff Helms, general manager of Alfa’s in-house advertising agency, Creative Consultants Inc. (CCI), said Dietrich was a natural fit for Alfa.
“Sean understands and appreciates the personal service, heritage and community spirit that distinguish Alfa from its competitors,” Helms said. “He has spoken at meetings for both Alfa agents and Alabama Farmers Federation members. We believe his down-home humor, love of all things Southern and celebration of everyday heroes resonate with current and future Alfa customers.”
Dietrich said he’s received encouraging, heartfelt emails from Alfa customers who read his columns in the Federation’s Neighbors magazine.
“I love Alfa,” Dietrich said. “I’ve met some great people over the years through Alfa at various events, and I haven’t met one person wearing an Alfa badge who I wouldn’t invite to a barbecue — except for maybe the guy who writes those stories in Neighbors magazine.”
Television commercials in the new campaign feature Dietrich fishing, playing his accordion and cooking with wife and professional chef Jamie. They tout online quoting for auto customers in Alabama; discounts for teachers, military, first responders and others; insurance for small businesses; and Alfa’s caring service and customizable coverage.
The campaign also includes digital advertising, billboards and print ads. CCI worked with the Hampton-Legg agency and Sunspot Pictures to produce video portions of the campaign. The commercials were filmed in Alabama and Georgia using local talent and crew members.
“We are blessed with a wealth of professional filmmakers in Birmingham and the surrounding area,” Helms said. “Alfa is proud to keep our production dollars in the state and hire local people — many whom had been out of work for months due to COVID-19.”
Dietrich said his first experience as a spokesperson was memorable.
“Whenever I would try to say my lines, I felt like Mel Tillis,” he said. “I was surprised at how much fun we had on the set. But every day of filming was full of laughter, jokes — and only twice did I get beaten by the director with a hickory switch.”
Helms said Dietrich’s humor and easy-going style kept the five-day video shoot lighthearted.
“Working with Sean and Jamie was like being with Alfa team members or Federation members. They share our values and are committed to representing the company well,” Helms said. “I also want to thank CCI Corporate Media Director Melissa Martin and Art Director Mike Moody for their work on this campaign. It would not have been possible without their talent, professionalism and persistence.”
In addition to the Sean of the South campaign, CCI also produced a new television commercial for use when tornadoes, hurricanes or other disasters strike. The spot features Alfa President Jimmy Parnell, who commends the company’s storm response as “second to none.”
Dietrich said Alfa’s agricultural roots are one reason he agreed to lend his voice, face and iconic beard to the advertising campaign.
“I come from farmers. My father didn’t go into the agriculture business like his family but went into ironwork instead,” Dietrich recalled. “But I come from quiet, workaholic, rural people who keep to themselves. Rural people don’t go in for celebrities or famous people. So I didn’t grow up learning to be impressed with people who have great portfolios. The people I find remarkable, and the people I’ve spent my career — if you call it that — writing for are just good, ordinary folks. People just like me — only with better teeth.”