Park Ridge insurance agent gets his ‘Journey moment’ in TV spot
By JENNIFER JOHNSON Sun-Times Media firstname.lastname@example.org June 15, 2012 10:54AM
NAME: Chris Collins State Farm Insurance
ADDRESS: 22 S. Washington Ave., Park Ridge
SPECIALTY: Auto, home and life insurance, as well as financial services
Updated: June 15, 2012 12:09PM
Chris Collins is more of a Bruce Springsteen kind of guy.
If he’s going to be quoting anything other than an insurance rate, it’s probably going to be the words to “Glory Days” or “Born in the U.S.A.,” his two favorite rock anthems by The Boss.
But if you’re one of the millions of people who have caught a popular State Farm Insurance commercial, you’ll find Collins having a “Journey moment.”
Collins, a Park Ridge State Farm agent, appears prominently in the TV spot in which he and a customer, played by actor Sam Vance, trade lyrics from the Journey song “Any Way You Want It” while discussing State Farm’s 24-hour accessibility over the phone.
The experience has turned Collins into a fan of the arena-rock group.
“If I hear Steve Perry on the radio, now, my ears perk up a little bit,” Collins said of the former Journey frontman, whose hit song also plays briefly at the end of the 30-second commercial. “I think ‘Any Way You Want It’ has become my theme song.”
Collins, seated at a desk inside an office that was recreated on a set 190 miles from his Uptown Park Ridge agency, plays himself in the ad, his nameplate visible on the desk.
He was one of dozens of State Farm agents from across the country nominated by colleagues and supervisors to appear in a company commercial, but Collins’ nomination led to an audition, a call-back and finally casting in “State of Disconnect,” better known as the “Journey Moment” ad.
It was Collins’ very first acting experience.
“To be in a national commercial, to be myself, wasn’t an opportunity I was going to pass up,” said Collins, 32.
The commercial was shot in September in Green Bay, Wis., and filming lasted much of the day. The previous day saw Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers filming his own ad for State Farm.
“The experience was good,” Collins said. “It was interesting to see how things are done and how they piece it together.”
The commercial has also made its way to the agent’s company website, www.chriscollinsagency.com, which includes a clip visitors can watch.
All agents who appear in State Farm’s advertisements are actual insurance agents with the company, spokeswoman Mia Jazo-Harris said.
Apart from dropping early-1980s power-rock lyrics on camera, Collins handles policies for home, auto and commercial insurance. His offices recently moved to Park Ridge after seven years in Niles due to the need for more space for his staff of eight.
Some of Collins’ clients have recognized him as the Journey-quoting insurance agent and “get a big kick out of it,” he noted. But Collins himself hasn’t actually come across the commercial all that much.
“My wife and I joke all the time that we never see it, but everyone I talk to says they see it all the time,” he said. “It’s kind of funny, but we just never see it. I guess we don’t watch enough TV.”
Collins acknowledged that he would love to film another commercial, but doubts another opportunity will come up anytime soon.
“I’m certainly not quitting my day job,” he said.