Who's Nationwide's World's Greatest Spokesperson in the World?

Perhaps the more important question is -- who cares?

Or maybe the question is -- why is something like car insurance so often pitched by comic ads?

Now that industry competitors have staked out their commercial territory with wacky characters and funny bits, Nationwide has come late to the party with their own bizarro pitchman.

We're pretty familiar now with Progressive's Flo with her bouffant hair and fire-engine red lipstick And we've seen the whole menagerie of characters from Geico including talking geckos and metrosexual cavemen.

Enter the World's Greatest Spokesperson in the World.

This over-the-top character pushes his way into people's homes with a blue tie and a matching blue Western Electric telephone strapped to his midsection. He proceeds to make promises to prospective customers if they'll switch over to Nationwide.

We suppose this approach showcases Nationwide's customer-service advantage, if they indeed have one.

Insurance agents do have a reputation for being obnoxious so this character is somewhat believable on that score.


The World's Greatest Spokesperson in the World ad campaign, a product of the McKinney agency (they also came up with Travelocity's Roaming Gnome), seems a bit derivative, actually.

If you threw nine parts Progressive's Flo and one part the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World in a blender, the Nationwide guy is what we suspect you'd get.

But maybe goofy is the operative word for car insurance ads.

Even Allstate, who since 2003 has employed the no-nonsense Dennis Haysbert as their pitchman, have recently added a new character.

Enter Mayhem from Allstate

And by the way, who is the World's Greatest Spokesperson in the World?

He's Bob Wiltfong and this is a big break for Bob.

Before this you'd only seen him as characters like Executive #1 on 30 Rock or Reporter #5 on Dirty, Sexy Money.

The Nationwide campaign may be a little weird but Bob does his best with what he's given to work with and we hope this assignment leads to big things in the future.

Personally, we just don't go for this goofy jazz when the subject is something serious like car insurance.

Give us something solid and trustworthy like Eagleman any day...