K-Fed spot fires up burger flippers
The National Restaurant Association says Nationwide's Super Bowl featuring Kevin Federline is "denigrating" to the industry.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Kevin Federline's 15-minutes of fame may be set to flame out after the National Restaurant Association objected to his appearance in one of this year's Super Bowl XLI ads.
Last week, Nationwide (up $0.30 to $53.70, Charts), the diversified insurance and financial services firm, announced it will use Federline in its award-winning advertising campaign for its second Super Bowl ad, with the punch line, "Life Comes at You Fast."
The commercial shows Federline, also known as K-Fed now also known as Fed-ex since splitting with Britney Spears, going from starring in a rap video to working in a fast-food restaurant according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
The NRA, in a letter to Jerry Jurgensen, the CEO of Nationwide, said the ad "would give the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant."
The letter went on to say that the ad would be an insult to the 12.8 million workers in the restaurant industry and Nationwide's marketing campaign "should not require denigrating another industry."
"While we understand the perspective of the National Restaurant Association, please recognize this Super Bowl advertisement is a humorous take on one person's life," a spokesman for Nationwide told CNNMoney.com in an emailed statement.
"The intent of the ad isn't to offend or insult the many fine individuals who work in the restaurant industry. The focus of the ad is the element of surprise, not the setting of a fast food restaurant."
Steven Schreibman, vice president of advertising and brand management for Nationwide, said when the advertisement was announced last week that the "Life Comes at You Fast concept was created to remind people that they need to think about preparing for the future."
"No one has personified Life Comes at You Fast in the media better than Kevin Federline. He's poking fun at himself, and in the process gets to have the last word." said Schreibman.
This is the third ad the Columbus, Ohio-based company has made featuring a celebrity. Past appearances include romance icon Fabio in 2006 and rapper M.C. Hammer in 2005.
The ad will run during the third quarter of the Super Bowl and will be available at the company's Web site beginning Jan. 29.
Off-beat commercials are also expected from Pepsi's (down $0.01 to $64.81, Charts) Frito-Lay unit which partnered with Yahoo (down $0.22 to $27.42, Charts) to promote a competition in which the best home-made Doritos ad would be selected to air during the Super Bowl. Diamond Foods' (down $0.05 to $18.45, Charts) Emerald Nuts, also known to have unusual ads, plans to return with another weird advertisement.