Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Nationwide’s Super Bowl Ad

If you didn’t see Nationwide’s Super Bowl ad about preventable childhood death’s, go ahead and take a gander. Just don’t blame me afterwards!

I watched this live during the Super Bowl. When it started I thought is was cute – a kid saying he would “never” get graduate, get married, etc. I thought it was a Peter Pan moment. And then Nationwide killed him. Well, they “killed” him earlier. The reason he won’t get to do all of those things? He “died” in a preventable childhood accident.

Cue the Twitter FREAK OUT.

Why did everyone react like this? Children are a sacred trust. They are the most vulnerable and innocent among us. You don’t mess with children. That’s why horror movies don’t show kids being killed. It’s just too disturbing.

Many people felt like Nationwide was trying to profit on a child’s death as well. Also a big No-No. It was so bad that Nationwide had to release a statement to clarify their commercial:

Columbus, Ohio – Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. Most people don’t know that. Nationwide ran an ad during the Super Bowl that started a fierce conversation. The sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance. We want to build awareness of an issue that is near and dear to all of us—the safety and well being of our children. We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions. In fact, thousands of people visited MakeSafeHappen.com, a new website to help educate parents and caregivers with information and resources in an effort to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death. Nationwide has been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.

If you have to send out a press release because the Interwebs are exploding with people upset about your commercial, that’s not OK. That’s the opposite of good PR. This commercial didn’t make people talk about preventable childhood accidents that result in deaths, which was its intent. Instead, it made people angry and upset. Nationwide is the butt of many jokes.

One Comment

  • Tracy Domeracki commented on February 2, 2015 Reply

    I was following the social buzz around this ad during the Super Bowl last night. I noticed that most people were angry and upset because they simply didn’t want to have a conversation about preventable childhood accidents during the Super Bowl. It’s suppose to be a party and this soured the mood. I think this is a classic case of not understanding your audience and the ad placement. If you look at most of the other ads, they were all fun, exciting, sexy, sweet or uplifting. A perfect complement to the Super Bowl atmosphere. I think it the ad was placed during a drama, like “Law & Order” it would not have received such backlash.

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