Nationwide Insurance Unveils New Ad Featuring Sanjaya Malakar : View the Former American Idol Contestant's New Ad at Nationwide.com or Design Your Own Sanjaya Look at Sanjaya-ize.com.

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Nationwide Insurance® unveiled today its newest Life Comes at You Fast® ad, featuring former American Idol contestant, Sanjaya Malakar. In the tradition of Kevin Federline, Fabio and MC Hammer, Sanjaya becomes the latest celebrity to poke fun of himself in one of Nationwide’s commercials. The company’s Web site features the new commercial. A new microsite allows fans to upload a personal image and create their own “Sanjaya” look using the Nationwide Sanjaya widget.

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We knew that because of his South Asian heritage and a great personal Life Comes at You Fast story, Sanjaya was a good fit. We found out that there is a lot of public interest in seeing the ad, so we made it available online.

"I think it turned out really funny," said Malakar. "I know from personal experience that Life really does Come at You Fast. I went from being an unknown singer to appearing before of millions of people as an American Idol contestant. Now I am doing a commercial for Nationwide Insurance. I'm excited to see what happens next in my career."

In the ad, Sanjaya visits India to seek advice from a wise man who tells him he needs a retirement plan – and a haircut. Sanjaya sports a hairstyle similar to the ones he made famous while on American Idol (Season 6).

At http://www.Sanjaya-ize.com, fans can upload a picture and try on various hairstyles, outfits and accessories worn by Sanjaya in the new ads and during American Idol. When their look is complete, the Nationwide Sanjaya widget allows fans to share their new look with friends and family.

The ad featuring Sanjaya is one of six new spots designed to help Nationwide reach South Asian American consumers. It will air on U.S. cable stations catering to South Asian audiences. This is the third year for Nationwide's South Asian advertising campaign.

"We know from watching American Idol that Sanjaya appeals to many audiences," said Steven Schreibman, Nationwide's vice president of advertising and brand management. "We knew that because of his South Asian heritage and a great personal Life Comes at You Fast story, Sanjaya was a good fit. We found out that there is a lot of public interest in seeing the ad, so we made it available online."

In addition to Sanjaya's ad, visitors to the Web site can view other Nationwide commercials in the new South Asian campaign, as well as behind-the-scenes video and photos of Sanjaya.

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $161 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #108 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, and motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit http://www.nationwide.com.

Nationwide, Nationwide Insurance, the Nationwide framemark, Life Comes at You Fast, and On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

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Mike Switzer
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