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Ex-'Idol' finalist Sanjaya Malakar lands Nationwide TV commercial


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/27/2008 

Given the questionable success of his upcoming music career, Sanjaya Malakar is already stressing the importance of saving for retirement.

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The former American Idol sixth-season finalist -- who was known more for his creative coifs than his actual singing ability -- has been tapped to star in a new "Life Comes at You Fast" commercial for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

"I'm thrilled to star in one of Nationwide's 'Life Comes at You Fast' ads, because I really love the campaign," said Malakar in the company's announcement. "My experience on American Idol was is a great example of how life really does come at you fast. The ad is a funny take on the serious subject of planning for retirement."

The commercial will feature the former Idol finalist visiting a monastery in India to seek advice and is told to both work on his hair and arrange a retirement plan. 

"The Life Comes at You Fast concept was created to remind people that they need to think about preparing for tomorrow," said Steven Schreibman, Nationwide's vice president of advertising and brand management. "Sanjaya's ad reminds consumers that they need to be prepared for life to change, because change is inevitable."

The spot is one of six new Nationwide commercials specifically targeted at the South Asian market.

"The rapidly growing South Asian market is very important to us," said Tariq Khan, Nationwide's vice president for market development and diversity. "The creative work in these print ads and TV spots reflect traditions and situations that South Asians can relate to."

Malakar recently moved to Los Angeles and is currently working on his debut album.


(Photo credit Fox)


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