Nationwide Is on Ogilvy's Side, Names Shop Lead Agency

WPP Shop Created Both Peyton Manning Spots And 'Dead Boy'

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Nationwide's Peyton Manning campaign
Nationwide's Peyton Manning campaign Credit: Nationwide

Nationwide has named Ogilvy & Mather its lead creative agency, a move that comes after the marketer earlier this year parted ways with McKinney after a seven-year relationship.

Nationwide had been working with both Ogilvy and McKinney, but the latter was its agency of record. Nationwide said Ogilvy had most recently began working with the marketer in 2013, mostly supporting the partnerships with Peyton Manning and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The agency also created the controversial commercial for Super Bowl XLIV that showed a child dying from a preventable accident.

Nationwide says it only needs one creative agency. "Nationwide and Ogilvy share a rich heritage, with Ogilvy helping to develop the original 'Nationwide is on your side' slogan more than 50 years ago," said Terrance Williams, Nationwide exec VP-chief marketing marketing officer. "We work with many agencies to support the needs of our business, but we only need one creative agency. Rather than putting the work out to bid, we conducted a thorough internal process and determined that Ogilvy is best positioned among all of our partners to support our journey from many brands to one."

"We were truly fortunate to rekindle our partnership with Nationwide two years ago," said Adam Tucker, president of Ogilvy New York, in a statement. "Our subsequent Peyton Manning work captivated the nation demonstrating the timeless, infectious power of the jingle, 'Nationwide Is On Your Side.' Today, we're proud to carry on the tender nurturing of what started as an advertising tagline, and is now both a brand ethos and a way of doing business at Nationwide."

Ogilvy also created the "Make Safe Happen" spot (which has been dubbed "Dead Boy" by the media) that quickly became infamous. That ad and the subsequent negative reactions set into motion a number of changes at the company. Chief Marketing Officer Matt Jauchius left the and was replaced by company veteran Mr. Williams. Prior to his appointment as the new CMO, Mr. Williams was president and chief operating officer.

McKinney was named the agency of record for the insurer in 2009 after a review. Before that, TM Advertising worked with the company for a decade and was best known for its "Life Comes At You Fast" ads. Near the end of TM's tenure, Nationwide scrapped that line in favor of "Nationwide is On Your Side."

After the loss, McKinney laid off about 18% of its staff.

Nationwide spent $332 million on U.S. measured media in 2014, according to Kantar Media. In the first nine months of 2015, the company spent $213 million.

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