Temerlin Debuts Effort for Nationwide

NEW YORK Nationwide, the financial services firm known best for its 36-year-old “Nationwide is on your side” jingle, is keeping that tagline but will otherwise try to shake up its image with a $30 million campaign themed, “Life comes at you fast.”

The TV and print campaign targets 15 cities including Cincinnati; Nashville, Tenn; Portland, Ore.; and Salt Lake City.

Kathy Ricord, executive vice president, chief marketing officer for the Columbus, Ohio, client, said the markets represent Nationwide’s greatest growth potential. Given the spend level, the ads will be hard to miss in those markets, Ricord said. Nationwide spent the same amount on media last year, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

TV spots, via Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, play on a simple theme. One ad shows a buff young guy with a full head of hair diving into a swimming pool as a 30-ish woman looks on approvingly. Her expression changes to mildly horrified, however, when the man emerges from the pool middle-aged, with a big gut and balding.

A similar sleight of hand takes place in a second ad in which a young couple strap their baby into the car seat, then look back to see he’s morphed into a surly teen with a Jack Osborne-like hairdo. “It’s a human truth, so it allows you to do these little truisms like, ‘Kids grow up right before your eyes,'” said Wade Alger, creative director at Temerlin. Print takes the same approach. One execution shows a guy with a head of hair in one shot and then the same man, bald, in the next.

The ads are also the first showcase for the Jim Ferguson-run Temerlin since the former creative consultant at DDB in Chicago, and veteran of that agency and Young & Rubicam in New York, took over as chairman and chief creative officer last October.