NU Online News Service, Jan. 18, 2005, 7:59 p.m. EST

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company will be spending $100 million over the next few months to promote the idea of planning ahead.[@@]

The Columbus, Ohio, insurer will be using a combination of television commercials, print ads, billboards, bus wraps, transit shelter posters, mall posters and airport dioramas in 31 U.S. markets.

The theme of the campaign will be that anything can happen in life, and that Nationwide is on the consumer’s side to help the consumer prepare for tomorrow, according to TM Advertising Company, the Irving, Texas, advertising agency that developed the campaign.

While the campaign runs, Nationwide hopes to be the top advertiser in every market targeted for the campaign, TM Advertising says.

Half of the 4 30-second television commercials developed for the campaign have started airing this week, and the other 2 spots are scheduled to debut Feb. 6, during the Super Bowl.

One of the commercials features rapper M.C. Hammer.

In related news, Nationwide, the parent of Nationwide Financial Services Inc., has released the results of a survey that show that many U.S. residents are unrealistic about their retirement prospects.

The survey, which reached a national sample of 1,000 U.S. adults along with samples of 250 adults from each of 8 markets, found that 59% of the survey participants believe that they are saving enough money to meet retirement goals.

Many of the consumers who say they are on track may be unrealistic, because government statistics show that the U.S. personal savings rate has fallen close to 0. The November 2004 savings rate of 0.3% translates into about $120 in savings per year for an individual with an annual income of $40,000, Nationwide says.