When Nationwide’s PR reps gave me a heads up about the commercial a couple weeks ago, they sent along storyboards. Comparing them with the final result gives us a little peek into the process of making a celeb-themed ad. Here are the boards:
VFX: OPEN ON KEVIN FEDERLINE. HIS BALL CAP SITS ATOP HIS HEAD, SLIGHTLY ASKEW. HE’S WEARING A WIRELESS HEADSET.
HE DANCES AND RAPS.
K-FED: Kevin Federline – you gonna eat up my rhyme. Ain’t got no more time for Miss BS; and PS, now I’m rappin’ patty. Yeah Number One. With a
shimmy shake too. Want me to make it large for you? You da boss-a-me – lovin’ that special sauce from me. You gonna shag it, then I’ll bag
it. Do a drive by—hey 6-99, pay Federline.
VFX: PULL BACK TO REVEAL FEDERLINE IS WORKING THE DRIVE-THRU WINDOW AT A FAST FOOD JOINT. HE RAPS ON, DANCING
TO HIS RAP.
CAR PULLS UP TO THE WINDOW FEDERLINE IS AT. HE HANDS THEM THEIR BAG OF FOOD.
SUPER: LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST®
When I first saw this I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Then on January 29 Nationwide put up the full 30-second spot on the web:
What a shame! The final spot is bloated with obeisance to Federline. Too much self-aggrandizing glam-rapping, and while Federline’s timing on the last “wha?” is worth a chuckle, the transition is clunky.
I wonder how much they had to change the spot to get him to play ball. I got the chance to shoot questions at Federline (some serious, some not, though I’m not sure he could tell the difference. That video will be up soon) on Monday. In the interview he told me he was reluctant to do it originally, but that Nationwide’s team persisted, telling him to think of it like an SNL skit.
It looks to me like they gave up too much ground, to everyone’s loss. Frankly if it were tougher on him I think he would have come off funnier, and more sympathetic to the audience. I’d love to get Nationwide or TM Advertising (the agency that handled it) to chip in their two cents, though.