Columbiana’s picturesque downtown used for ALFA commercial

Published 1:32 pm Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA— The city of Columbiana welcomed a film crew on Thursday, July 23, who used the hometown local setting that the city provides to film a commercial for ALFA Insurance.

Jeff Helms, Director of Communications and Advertising for ALFA Insurance, said that employing local people, and using Columbiana’s small town allure was important in connecting the theme of their commercial, which was highlighting small businesses.

“The commercial we filmed in downtown Columbiana focused on small businesses. ALFA offers insurance for small businesses so we wanted to make that connection,” Helms explained. “Columbiana is very picturesque, it is a thriving small downtown area and the city and city officials are very welcoming.”

This is the second year in a row that Columbiana has been selected as a location for filming. Helms said that the level of hospitality and reception to their crew especially from Mayor Stancil Handley, as well as the beautiful location is what kept them coming back to the town.

“The mayor has been very hospitable and welcoming to us to allow us to achieve what we need to from a filming standpoint. He came out on our lunch break to visit with the crew and tell everyone how much he appreciates what we’re doing,” Helms said.

Another important point in filming in a small town like Columbiana was to ensure that local independent contractors who are part of Alabama’s film industry have work. Helms explained that many of these people have been out of work due to the COVID-19, and being able to provide work for them while keeping advertising dollars spent locally was very important to ALFA.

Using a small, but thriving town like Columbiana to emphasize the Alabama-based company’s services was very important according to Helms.

“Columbiana reflects the way that many towns and small businesses look, and that kind of realism is very important to convey to a larger audience,” he said.

Helms said the commercial could be seen on TV as early as the end of this month, but will definitely be running by the fall season.