Nationwide Uses Former Mr. Spears in Super Bowl Spot
By Mya Frazier
Published: January 16, 2007
COLUMBUS, OHIO (AdAge.com) -- Can the down-and-out estranged husband of pop star Britney Spears help Nationwide sell more insurance? We'll see.
Steven Schreibman, VP-advertising and brand management at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., hopes this year's Super Bowl commercial featuring Kevin Federline does more than reach the 45 million households that tune in. He's hoping for a redux of Nationwide's first Super Bowl spot last year. That ad featured Fabio and lit a media frenzy worth $7.2 million in ad value, thanks to 158 million impressions and 500 media stories, according to the company's own in-house return-on-investment measurements.
The romance-novel cover boy was interviewed by media outlets such as "Fox & Friends" and "Good Morning America," not to mention 20 local TV stations across the country and dozens of print stories about the "Life Comes at You Fast" spot, which showed Fabio as an old man still romancing the ladies.
This year's Super Bowl spot, from TM Advertising, strikes a similar theme, showing Mr. Federline living out every possible rap-video cliche, before we discover the failed rap star was actually daydreaming it all while manning the french-fries station at a fast-food joint as his manager yells at him to get to work.
If it happened to K-Fed ...
The Columbus, Ohio-based insurance company clearly plans to juice the controversy surrounding Mr. Federline's divorce from Ms. Spears and the ensuing custody trial over their two children for all its worth.
"We're using his story," Mr. Schreibman admitted unabashedly. "We are leveraging his story to illustrate life comes at you fast and how it happens every day and if it happens to someone like this person it can happen to you."
Mr. Schreibman declined to discuss the financial arrangements for Mr. Federline's participation in the spot and the surrounding media publicity, but said: "It gives Kevin a platform to talk about the next phase of his life and it allows him to come across as smart. It's really his version of a 'Saturday Night Live' skit."
It's certainly not the first time the brand has teamed up with a down-and-out celebrity. Two years ago, the insurer launched a spot featuring M.C. Hammer, who filed for bankruptcy, showing him rapping and partying in one scene and his house being foreclosed on in the next.
"We align ourselves with celebrities that have latent journalistic interest," Mr. Schreibman said. "[Mr. Federline] has been quiet throughout this entire ordeal and so many journalists out there want to ask him about it."
Ready to meet the press
The company has coached the much maligned Mr. Federline to be ready for media interviews. A spokesman for Nationwide set up an interview with Mr. Federline with Advertising Age, but under the ground rules questions about his personal life could not be asked.
Speaking from a Los Angeles fast-food joint, where the commercial is currently being filmed, Mr. Federline explained why he agreed to do the commercial.
"It's just a good opportunity to poke fun at myself and let everyone know I'm not taking myself too seriously. I'm having a good time," Mr. Federline said while wearing a red button-up fast-food uniform with a name tag and red hat. "I saw some of their old commercials and to me, it is hilariously tasteful. And as I work with them I get to learn more about who they are and what they are about."
When asked if he thought the commercial could raise his profile on the national-media scene, he said: "How can it not? I'm doing a national commercial for a Super Bowl."
Source: adage.com, tmz.com
Britney’s ex to star in Super Bowl ad for Nationwide
By Marla Matzer Rose
The Columbus Dispatch
Tuesday, January 16, 2007 5:50 PM
New baby. New career. High profile divorce.
No one had life come at him faster this year than Kevin Federline. The 28-year-old soon-to-be ex-Mr. Britney Spears and father of four has signed on to star in Nationwide's second-ever Super Bowl ad.
“No one has personified “Life Comes at You Fast” in the media better than Kevin Federline,” said Steven Schreibman, vice president of advertising and brand management for Nationwide, headquartered in downtown Columbus.
“We're using humor and a celebrity to get people's attention and cut through the clutter.”
Nationwide will debut the 30-second spot on its Web site on Jan. 29, and run the ad during the third quarter of the Super Bowl on Feb. 4.
Federline follows in the footsteps of male model Fabio and rapper M.C. Hammer in starring in a “Life Comes at You Fast” spot.
Nationwide gives away Bowl ad ending
Updated 1/17/2007 1:32 AM ET
By Laura Petrecca, USA TODAY
NEW YORK — In an unusual strategy for a Super Bowl advertiser, Nationwide Mutual Insurance on Wednesday will announce the surprise ending of its ad in the game: Britney Spears' estranged hubby Kevin Federline will be dreaming of a show-biz career — while actually working at a rundown fast-food joint.
"I felt that it was a good time to come out and make fun of myself," says Federline, 28, from the ad shoot in Hollywood.
It is the latest of the Nationwide (NFS) ads with the theme Life Comes at You Fast.
For most Super Bowl advertisers, the punch line of their big-budget ad is a closely guarded secret until it airs. Only hints about plot or celebrity stars are dropped to try to tease interest.
Even more unusual, Nationwide plans to post the ad on its website on Jan. 29 — a week before the big game — and may post it elsewhere, too, such as on YouTube. Like most game advertisers, it put its 2006 Super Bowl ad online only after the game.
The new ad will show Federline, known as K-Fed, rapping in a slick music video. A later shot reveals he's daydreaming while working as a french-fry maker.
Federline, a backup dancer before his 2004 wedding to Spears, wouldn't get into personal issues, such as ongoing divorce proceedings. "All the personal stuff is personal for a reason."
Nationwide ad chief Steven Schreibman thinks divulging ad details now will add to the buzz for this commercial. "There's all this pent-up interest in Kevin Federline and his life — pre-Britney and post-Britney and where he's going now."
Revealing at least elements of an offbeat game ad can work, says David Schwab, head of celebrity consulting at marketing company Octagon. "(Advertisers) all get the same post-publicity if the spot is memorable. Why not build buzz in advance by giving clues or the name of the celebrity?"
Federline, who worked at Pizza Hut as a teen, thinks viewers will appreciate the ad's self-deprecating humor. "It's perfect for Nationwide, and it really works for me. I try not to take myself too seriously."
Nationwide has used self-effacing humor before on Super Sunday. Its game ad last year showed romance-novel-cover hunk Fabio morphing into an old man. A 2005 game ad airing regionally showed rapper MC Hammer's belongings being repossessed after his real-life bankruptcy made headlines.
Nationwide won't say how much K-Fed is being paid. When asked about his finances, Federline said only, "I'm OK. … I'll be good, no matter what."
He's quick to add that he's making a new start in a new year.
"I'm changing a lot of things in my life. Just be ready for me in 2007."