Nationwide returned to the Super Bowl in 2007 after its debut the year prior ("Gondola," starring Fabio) with a spot, again via TM Advertising, starring Kevin Federline.
Federline, best known for his brief marriage to Britney Spears ("Now and Then"), initially appears living as a high-rolling rapper with bling to spare. But pop culture fans knew where this was going, because "Rollin' VIP" aired months after Spears filed for a widely-covered divorce, and by the end Federline is found daydreaming at the Fryolator. The “life comes at you fast” conclusion ties up the message: get an annuity.
Even before "Rollin' VIP" ran, however, National Restaurant Association CEO Steve C. Anderson sent a letter to Nationwide CEO Jerry Jurgensen (and the press) complaining about its reported content.
"We hope that these reports are inaccurate and that Nationwide will not be airing an ad that would give the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant," Anderson wrote. "An ad such as this would be a strong and a direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry."
"Developing creative concepts that accomplish the marketing strategies for a product should not require denigrating another industry," Anderson added. "Should an ad of this nature run during the Super Bowl, we will make sure that our membership -- many of whom are customers of Nationwide -- know the negative implications this ad portrays of the restaurant industry."
A Nationwide spokesman replied that the "focus of the ad is the element of surprise, not the setting of a fast-food restaurant."
Director: Frank Todaro, whose Super Bowl work also includes Bud Light's "Mother" and "Parade" in 2003, Staples' "Easy Button" in 2005 and Volkswagen's "Punch Dub" in 2010. Production company: Moxie Pictures.
Executive creative director: Jim Ferguson. Creative director: Leigh Sander. Copywriter: Tom Demetriou. Art director: Andy Mahr. Producer: Hal Dantzler.Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.