Dailey Enhances ‘Director’s Cut’ Concept

LOS ANGELES A television effort on behalf of 21st Century Insurance by Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates will launch Wednesday, the agency said. The action-packed spot will be the second in a proposed serial campaign, in which famous film accident scenes are re-visited from alternate viewpoints.

Dailey’s initial work for the client, which broke in mid-January, featured freshly shot, post-crash clips edited into classic footage from The French Connection. The latest spot, a 30-second retelling of the 1994 movie Speed, goes a step further: Feature director Jan de Bont actually re-shot a significant cinema wreck scene using an alternate, insurance-angled story line.

A team from the West Hollywood, Calif.-based agency—executive creative director Mike Folino, associate creative director, copywriter Ken Pappanduros and associate creative director, art director Daniel Gray—worked closely with 21st Century and de Bont to return to the same Long Beach, Calif., freeway off-ramp the director had used in his movie, in which an out-of-control public bus flies over a tow-truck driver and car owner, then smashes into a black Nissan Z.

In the commercial (which even features one of the same buses from the film), the Nissan’s owner stares incredulously at her mangled car, then pulls out a cell phone and dials her insurance company.

“Hello, 21st? You’re not gonna believe this … ,” she says.

“It’s a natural extension of the movie,” explained Bruce Marlow, chief executive officer at the Woodland Hills, Calif.-based client, and a strong advocate of the campaign’s “product placement”-style strategy. “And the ‘Hello, 21st’ line has iconic potential.”

In 2004, 21st Century’s ad spending was $25 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus; the client did not reveal its current ad budget. But Chuck Sloan, owner of project partner Plum Productions, said the accident aftermath concepts were “cost-effective” and offered “millions of dollars worth of footage” for moderate studio fees.

The spot will launch throughout the insurance carrier’s Western, Southwestern and Midwestern U.S. coverage areas. Media was handled by independent DCA, Santa Monica, Calif.

A Dailey representative said that the campaign’s third execution would feature a Mini Cooper-TransAm crash from the 2003 movie The Italian Job.