21st Century Makes a Texas Connection

DALLAS Taking advantage of a new law deregulating the Texas auto insurance market, 21st Century Insurance is airing a TV spot in the state based on the movie The French Connection.

Created by Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates of West Hollywood, Calif., the commercial opens with footage of the New York car chase from the Academy Award-winning film. When the lead car in the chase collides with another vehicle but keeps going, the motorist who was struck gets out of his car and heads to a telephone booth to call his insurance company.

“Hello, 21st?” the motorist says. “You’re not going to believe this.”

Taking the call is an attractive young woman who reassures the caller that she will believe the story.

“Humor and integrating our message into an iconic movie clip are great ways to focus consumers’ attention that they can and should be getting more from their auto insurance company,” said Mike Folino, chief creative officer at Dailey.

The ad is part of 21st Century’s “Good people to call” campaign. The company, based in Woodland Hills, Calif., is a direct-to-consumer provider founded in 1958.

Over the past 12 months, the insurer began operations in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana. On Jan. 3, the company sold its first policy in Texas. The expansion has more than doubled the size of the markets in which the company competes.

Texas law SB 14 reduced regulations on the auto insurance marketplace. Under the former system, Texas drivers were grouped into a few broad categories, raising premiums for some people who should have qualified for lower rates. Under the new law, a much wider range of prices and policy contract features is available to Texas consumers.