NU Online News Service, Oct. 20, 12:09 p.m.EDT

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American Family Insurance announced yesterday they had teamedwith MTV in a promotional effort to encourage safer teen drivingwith a new microseries on the Web.

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The Madison, Wis.-based insurer said its partners also includeMindshare Entertainment and the integrated marketing effortincludes a five-episode series, "The Road to the Woodies."

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American Family said the series deals with a teenage drivernavigating closed-course obstacles and typical teen distractions toimprove her driving skills using American Family Insurance'sproprietary Teen Safe Driver program.

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The promotion began yesterday on the first day of National TeenDriver Safety Week, with the launch of a co-branded Web micrositeabout teen driving: amfam.mtv.com.

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Visitors to the site can watch a cartoon video about safedriving and are encouraged to take a safe driving test--"rock thisquiz, sign in to Facebook," connect to customize your experienceand tune in to the microseries.

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The quiz asks questions about how to change lanes, driverdistractions, unsafe passengers and various bands.

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Lisa Bacus, vice president of marketing for American FamilyInsurance, said in a statement, "The MTV campaign illustrates thechallenges real teens face and, with the use of the innovativetechnology of the Teen Safe Driver Program, shows how directinvolvement from parents vastly improves their driving habits."

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The reality-based microseries features Lauren, a typicalteenager, as she completes four driving challenges on a closedcourse to prove to her family that she is a safe and responsibledriver. If successful, she wins tickets to the 2009 mtvU WoodieAwards in New York City.

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The driver challenges will air in four two-minute segmentspremiering Oct. 28 during MTV's "The Ruins." As she navigates thecourse, Lauren is tested by surprise calls and texts from herfamily and friends while driving, and she also receives highwaydriving tips from experts like 2006 Indy Pro champion, JayHoward.

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All the while, Lauren's parents will view her driving "reportcard"' through Teen Safe Driver's unique in-vehicle video and audiounit that captures risky driving behaviors and provides expertanalysis and coaching tips. The short-form series will culminatewith the fifth segment airing during the Woodies awards Dec. 4, onMTV.

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MTV, along with Mindshare Entertainment, also produced aco-branded sweepstakes for another viewer to attend the 2009 mtvUWoodie Awards.

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Yesterday teens were able to enter the sweepstakes atamfam.mtv.com. Using the site, visitors can virtually "sign" asafe-driving pledge, test their safe-driving knowledge, learn moresafe-driving tips from American Family, and watch each of the "TheRoad to the Woodies" episodes.

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American Family noted that in association with DriveCam Inc. itprovides the year-long Teen Safe Driver at no cost to AmericanFamily auto insurance customers who have a beginning teen driver intheir household. The company said the program is now available inall 19 of American Family's operating states.

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So far the insurer said more than 6,000 families haveparticipated in the program, with teens averaging a 70 percentdecrease in high-risk driving events. The company said research hasshown direct involvement from parents vastly improves teens'driving habits.

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