Fast-food workers everywhere were offended last week by news of Kevin Federline's new Super Bowl ad – but the rapper says the joke's on him.
"We're really not trying to insult anybody," Federline, 28, tells Reuters of his Nationwide ad, in which he play a fry cook dreaming of stardom.
The spot, he points out, is a play on his image as an aspiring rapper.
"I was skeptical at first," he says. "The whole idea of poking fun at myself – that's where I was iffy."
But Federline, who will watch the Super Bowl from Nationwide's box seats, says he hopes his ad, along with his October guest spot last October on CSI, will lead to even more roles.
"The acting thing is very much on my mind," he says.
Do not adjust your eyeglass prescription: Kevin Federline's latest role is funny, sexy and spot-on! As the star of an upcoming Super Bowl ad for Nationwide (an insurance and financial company), everybody's favorite punching bag turns the tables on his haters and helps create a memorable commercial that lampoons the star's lack of talent while at the same time even shows a little talent!
The commercial begins like any other hip-hop music video, as a pimped-out K-Fed in a fedora and black & white fur coat raps to the camera. ("Yo, who got it better than me?!") The newly fabulous one then continues to rap about how p-h-a-t his life is, in a succession of fabulous gangster outfits. The 30-second spot's got all the rap clichés, as K-Fed also shows off some fancy bling and wads of cash, and lounges with the requisite hip-hop honeys.
Surprisingly the beat is funky and the rap is smooth and it doesn't look like a goof, until the punch line is revealed: K-Fed is actually rapping into the closed circuit camera at a fast food restaurant where he works the deep fryer. "Federline, fries!" barks his angry boss and we hear the National pitchman utter their slogan: "Life Comes At You Fast!"
"He was a little hesitant at first [to make the commercial]," Nationwide VP of Advertising and Brand Management Steven Schreibman tells Star. "But he agreed once he saw how funny [previous spots with Fabio and M.C. Hammer] were and how well they were produced."
The agency wrote the song (which may go a long way in explaining its catchiness), but K-Fed did all his own rapping and shot the commercial over a 3-day period. According to Schreibman, the fabulous clothes were bought off the rack at a variety of places all over Hollywood by stylist L.A. stylist Suzi Carlson. "He wears clothing really well," the exec tells Star. "He has the perfect size and shape to wear everything."
The infamous bad boy was reportedly "a real pro" during the fun shoot where he did mention missing his kids, but never his estranged wife. According to Schreibman "We didn't ask [about Britney] and he didn't bring it up."
So will K-Fed have the last laugh after the spot premieres during the big game on February 4? "This is good for him," says Schreibman. "It presents him in a really good way and allows him to move on and go forward with his life."
Maybe it will also lead to a renewed interest in K-Fed's rap career. If not, it could open new doors. According to Schreibman, "He was really great with the fry machine!"
For many of us, the Super Bowl is more about the commercials than the football. On Monday, one of the most talked about spots, featuring Britney Spears' ex, was unveiled.
The Nationwide Insurance ad is meant to sell products, capture attention and be funny, but a couple of powerful groups are not laughing.
The ad starts with Kevin Federline as a rap superstar. Then he snaps out of his daydream, and back into reality as a fry guy.
The Columbus-based Insurance giant is now taking heat, not only from the Ohio Restaurant Association, but also the National Restaurant Association.
"We think it's a demeaning ad that disparages people who do work in the restaurant industry. We're strongly encouraging Nationwide to pull the ad from the Super Bowl," said National Restaurant Association President & CEO Steven Anderson. "I think it will insult a great many people who work in the restaurant industry."
10TV took the ad to Mamadou Sy, 25, a fast food restaurant worker at M&M Chicken and Fish.
"I think it's funny," Sy said.
Employees at Tommy's Pizza on the east side had a similar reaction.
"I think it's pretty funny. It don't bother me at all. I'm happy with what I do," said Nick Fowle, Tommy's Pizza employee.
That's exactly the spirit in which Nationwide says it made the ad, described by Nationwide Spokesperson Liz Christopher as, "A humorous take on one person's life. The intent of the ad isn't to offend or insult the many fine individuals who work in the restaurant industry."
Nationwide has no plans to pull the ad.
Nationwide will pay an estimated $2.6 million for 30 seconds during the Super Bowl's third quarter. In case you miss it, the ad will be seen on TV in Columbus throughout the year.
From Investment News:
NEW YORK — Britney Spears may no longer want Kevin Federline, but Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. does.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the commercial appeal of Mr. Federline — who is known as “K-Fed” and who has been sued for divorce by Ms. Spears — will be tested on the world’s biggest advertising stage.
In the Columbus, Ohio-based insurer’s latest installment of its “Life Comes at You Fast” ad campaign, he will pretend to be a talented and famous rap musician who is forced to take a menial position in the fast-food industry after falling on hard times.
“No one personifies how far and fast one can fall as Kevin. He was living large as the husband of a major pop star and then got kicked to the curb,” said Steven Schreibman, Nationwide’s vice president of advertising and brand management.
“The ad shows that Kevin is a good sport with a great sense of humor. During the shoot, he was always on time, humble and professional,” Mr. Schreibman added. “The 30-second spot will likely air during the latter part of the game’s third quarter — it’s hilarious,” he said.
Despite the jabs at his financial fall from grace, few advisers would balk at having Mr. Federline — who likely will walk away from his divorce with at least $10 million from a prenuptial agreement — as a client.
From E! News:
Though the association hasn't seen the as-yet unaired ad, it believes, based on reports, that its depiction of Federline joining the fast-food employment ranks is something less than inspirational.
"It gives the impression that it's demeaning," Shott said.
The Anderson letter, dated Monday, expresses the hope that Nationwide won't air the ad, and warns if the company does it'll alert its members—"many of whom are customers of Nationwide."
According to Nationwide, the restaurant group can't see the Happy Meal for the fries.
"The intent of the ad isn't to offend or insult the many fine individuals who work in the restaurant industry," Nationwide spokesman Eric Hardgrove said in a statement to Reuters. "The focus of the ad is the element of surprise, not the setting of a fast-food restaurant."Source: eonline.com
From TV Guide:
Schreibman acknowledges that the controversy stemming from the National Restaurant Association's complaint has helped raise the profile of the spot. "He gave us a week's worth of ad coverage," he said.
Indeed, media research firm Nielsen BuzzMetrics recently found that the ad represented about one-quarter of all blog conversations related to Super Bowl advertising -- more than any other subject.
"We wanted something that would break away from the pack. We wanted something that would be talked about," said Schreibman, who last year picked male model Fabio to star in the company's Super Bowl ad.Source: tvguide.com