Telling The Story – Alfa Advertising
From products to service options, Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance have evolved over the past 75 years, and so has their advertising. Formed in 1946 to provide fire coverage to Alabama Farm Bureau members, the company quickly began offering automobile policies and other services. Over the years, advertising has showcased Alfa’s outstanding customer service and core values of faith, family, community and integrity.
While Alfa’s advertising has changed over the years, Alfa’s exceptional customer service has remained the hallmark of the company’s marketing efforts for 75 years.
Black and white print ads were used from the late 1940s to early 1970s. One of the first highlighted three lines of insurance offered by Alabama Farm Bureau: automobile; fire and windstorm; and life insurance. During this time of rapid expansion, Alabama Farm Bureau became known as The “Growth” Company. Ads ran in newspapers across the state of Alabama with the tagline “Helping Build the South in a New Era.” One of the company’s first television commercials was developed during this time, running extensively on WSFA-TV in Montgomery. Viewers from the late ‘50s and ‘60s still quote the famous spot, which featured local child celebrity Dixie Lee Turner announcing, “Mama, it’s the Farm Bureau man.”
In 1987, Alabama Farm Bureau Insurance changed its name to Alfa Insurance. The name Alfa was derived from using the first two letters of the words “Alabama” and “farmer”. It was selected as the ideal name to reflect the company’s agricultural heritage and passed stringent tests for memorability. With the name change came a new logo. One of the most successful advertising campaigns in Alabama history encouraged current and potential customers to remember Alfa as, “A New Name for an Old Friend.” Advertising reflected Alfa’s sense of family, community and top-rated customer service from some go the “Best Agents in the Business.” The slogan and jingle “Call Alfa” were adopted during the time and have since become memorable parts of Alfa’s legacy. In 1991, the Haynes quadruplets of Calhoun County, along with their older sister, became the faces of Alfa. Sporting matching red shirts emblazoned with the letters of the brand, the Alfa Quads appeared in television commercials and print advertising for the next several years. When the graduated from college in 2013, Alfa again featured the family. In the early 2000s, Alfa urged customers, :Let’s Talk About Tomorrow,” during a campaign which featured special effects, including a piano falling on a sports car.
Alfa launched its first mobile app in 2010. The launch of Alfa2Go® coincided with a new advertising campaign, “Right There with You.” Customer and employee testimonials later were used to reinforce the human connection of the Alfa brand. Creative Consultants Inc. (CCI), brought television production back into Alabama during this time — saving money which was invested in media placement. Local talent was utilized to achieve high production value at minimal cost. For several years, Alfa advertising featured slices of everyday life — showcasing the importance of customer service and affordable insurance. Sean of the South served as Alfa’s spokesperson in 2020-21, before the company shifted gears to highlight how little things (like accidents) can become big things without proper insurance. The new campaign is set to debut in September 2021. Meanwhile, CCI expanded advertising in recent years to include extensive digital marketing as Alfa rolled out online quoting and purchasing for automobile customers.
The 1970s saw Farm Bureau adopt a new logo, which it kept until the name change more than a decade later. Color print ads depicted family life in the South. Taglines of the era included “Because We Care,” which foreshadowed the development of the company’s philanthropic brand, “Alfa Cares.” In 1980, the organization established the in-house advertising agency Creative Consultants Inc., which continues to be charged with creating memorable marketing campaigns for Alfa and maximizing the effectiveness of the advertising budget.