Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.’s announcement last week that its television ad for this year’s Super Bowl would star the future ex-Mr. Britney Spears, rapper Kevin Federline, prompted considerable amusement.
But consideration of recent events in K-Fed’s life and the response to his debut album (sales of which could be charitably described as lackluster) suggest he’s an inspired choice as the centerpiece of this year’s version of Nationwide’s “Life Comes at You Fast” marketing campaign.
The Nationwide spot evidently opens with what appears to be K-Fed in full rap-video mode, then reveals that he’s delivering his rhymes while working in a fast food restaurant. Previous ads in Nationwide’s Life Comes at You Fast campaign have starred Fabio and M.C. Hammer.
While Mr. Federline apparently has a sense of humor, others, apparently, don’t–the National Restaurant Assn. is encouraging Nationwide to refrain from showing the ad. In a letter to the insurer, Steven C. Anderson, the restaurant group’s president and CEO, said his group hoped Nationwide would not air any ad “that would imply that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant.”
It’s understandable that the trade group would want to stand up for its members, and it’s laudable that it’s seeking to protect the dignity of line workers in fast food restaurants. But Nationwide’s ad is far from the first creative undertaking to look to the fast food setting for humor.