In today's society — where a person is constantly bombarded with commercials and ads practically everywhere they turn — you have to have something that makes you stand out. The world of insurance is no different.
Whether it's a silky smooth voice over, a guy performing outlandish acts representing accidents or a lizard hopping around the screen with a funny accent, these companies pull out all the stops to get your attention, and your money. For Nationwide, one of the top companies in these insurance wars, it's been their association with NASCAR that has helped keep them at the top.
Two of the biggest faces in NASCAR, Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt, have teamed up to lend the insurance company their popularity in a continued attempt to make Nationwide the top of it's field. For Earnhardt, who has been a spokesperson for the company since 2009, the pairing of him and Nationwide was just inevitable as he grew up under the protective umbrella of coverage that they offer.
"I know the office in Kannapolis (N.C.) near Mamaw's house that Daddy would go to whenever he had a new tractor or something or bought a new car," Earnhardt told USA TODAY Sports. " Nationwide has been with the Earnhardt family for 30 years, so it feels like a real genuine commitment, just like the Wrangler deal's been in the family a long time. Unknowingly, we chose Nationwide a long damn time ago, and it's just worked out where our paths crossed today."
With Patrick — who loves the dry humor that Dale Jr. brings to the table — by his side, Earnhardt and Nationwide are set up to bring a new series of commercials that will focus less on being the be-all of insurance and more on their everyman, main street option. In trying to appeal to the regular person, the insurance company feels it has a winner in Dale Jr. and Danica.
"Dale Jr's essence is a very authentic, straight-shooting American and has a huge fan following for many reasons related to that," said chief marketing officer, Matt Jauchius, who will appear with Earnhardt in the new series of ads July 28 during the Indy 250, the first Nationwide race at venerable Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Danicamania is hard to ignore, but she's also a race car driver who is passionate about sports. That's why they're so perfect for us on both levels. They are popular and transcendent, but equally important, their personal brands are so aligned with our brand."
Nationwide is currently in the fifth of a seven-year deal as title sponsor, and Jauchius said negotiations would begin next year with NASCAR on an extension. Business attributed by the company to it's NASCAR sponsorship grew 40 percent during the first quarter of 2011, and Jauchius said Nationwide's awareness is far higher among NASCAR fans.
"We haven't had specific discussions on the series, but we have a strong partnership with NASCAR," Jauchius said. "We've been part of the sport for a while, and they are happy with the level of commitment."
The commercial featuring Earnhardt and Patrick will debut July 28 and feature the same lighthearted banter they shared in 2011 ads.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP