Miller Davis shoots commercial for Hyperlink Insurance

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
Someone was ready to jump off The Plaza building in downtown Salisbury Thursday.
But don’t call the Fire Department for a net. The Miller Davis Agency was shooting a commercial for a client, Hyperlink Insurance Solutions, and the premise of the advertisement required the rooftop of a tall building.
The city-owned Plaza qualifies. Located on the square, The Plaza is the central business district’s tallest building at seven stories.
Rooftop activities with cameras draw attention in the downtown these days after some people reported watching a photo shoot involving two naked women and a (clothed) photographer on the top of a South Main Street building Oct. 16.
For the record, the filming going on Thursday had no connection whatsoever.
The 30-second commercial for term life insurance will be test marketed next week in the San Antonio area.
Hyperlink Insurance Solutions, which has offices in San Jose, Calif., and Salisbury, is a company that tries to provide high-level technology to independent insurance brokers and producers.
It offers carriers and products, along with the technology to serve as an insurance agency’s back office, providing, for example, the Web site, call center, quote generator, enrollment portal, lead generator, advertising and marketing.
With the hyperlinks to the company’s technology, insurance agents have more time to be in the field rather than in the office pushing paper or managing Web sites, said George Simons, vice president of marketing. The company’s call center has representatives trained in all the products.
An independent agency benefits from not having constant development costs.
Actors Bethany Bernesser, of Tega Cay, S.C., and Byron Miller, of Charlotte, played the husband and wife team for Thursday’s commercial shoot.
Standing on the roof of the building with Salisbury’s church steeples, fall colors, water towers and distant mountains behind them, the husband is a bit unnerved that his 43-year-old wife has taken up a new hobby ó base jumping.
Wearing a harness for her parachute, she warms up beside him as he explains to the camera that he thought it was a good idea to take out life insurance.
“She’s been too busy working on her canopy control skills, so I made the call,” the husband says. “In just a few minutes, we were covered. I’m sure we don’t need it. But it’s good to know it’s there.”
The commercial ends with some stock footage of someone taking a base jump from a much taller building. It also goes to bullet points about the $500,000 coverage available without a medical exam and a 30-day money back guarantee.An announcer voiceover can give the insurance agent’s name, telephone number and Web site at the end.
With the assistance of David Jones and Pat Pearson, Miller Davis Agency director-writer Jonathan Weaver filmed many takes in the northwest end of The Plaza.
The actors’ scenic background included the Bell Tower and steeples of St. John’s Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church.
The rooftop of the Plaza is not what you might expect. It offers glorious, panoramic views if you climb steps to a perch at the southeast corner. But the main roof floor is a jungle of air-conditioning units, cables, satellite dishes, antennas, fuse boxes and conduit.
The filming had to pause at times for various interruptions such as train whistles, church bells, fire truck sirens and overhead jets. But everyone kept their clothes on.

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