Maui man ‘pumped’ to star in national insurance commercial

Chad Santiago and Dana Carvey (Photo: Chad Santiago)

A new insurance commercial has muscled its way onto national television.

Austrian body builders Hans and Franz ask their State Farm agent, Chad, to explain the company’s Discount Double Check.

Turns out, Chad is a real State Farm insurance agent who owns his own office in Lahaina.

Maui native Chad Santiago, 36, says he never aspired to be on television. He tells KHON2 he was handpicked by the company’s marketing and advertising department and beat out a pool of 18,000 other agents for the spot.

“A camera crew was flown to Maui to record me acting skits and reading a few scripts. Five months later, I was told I was selected to the next round,” he said.

Santiago auditioned a second time via teleconference and then a third time via Skype. “Two days later, I was told I was being flown to Universal Studios in Los Angeles for filming. I was in awe,” he said.

Before shooting, Santiago wasn’t familiar with comedians Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon, who created their alter egos while cast members on “Saturday Night Live.”

“I thought to myself who are these guys?” he said. “During the set, they naturally kept everyone entertained with the jokes and humor. It definitely took the edge off me… They both were down-to-earth guys. We talked about their family and children. It was really like hanging out with my own friends here in Lahaina.”

Santiago says it was amazing to see what goes on behind the scenes. “This was a national State Farm marketing campaign was almost the size of a movie production. We also filmed commercials with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that day.”

The Lahainaluna High and University of Oregon graduate says his phone has been buzzing ever since the ad debuted Sunday night.

“I received a text from an ex-employee who was on the treadmill this morning in a New York gym. She says she screamed when my commercial came on in front of the TV she was watching,” he said.

Watch Santiago’s commercial below:

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