Nationwide Insurance Super Bowl ad creeps out viewers
Nationwide Insurance's Super Bowl commercial was less than upbeat.
Published Sunday, February 1, 2015 11:08PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 2, 2015 11:12AM EST
Though the Seattle Seahawks lost the Super Bowl on a last-minute interception, the real losers tonight may have been viewers who had to watch this creepy Super Bowl commercial.
Nationwide Insurance decided it was a good idea to accent the fanfare and excitement of football’s biggest night with the sad somberness of childhood mortality.
“I’ll never learn to ride a bike,” says the dejected young protagonist of the commercial. “I’ll never learn to fly, or travel the world with my best friend.”
What’s the punchline, you might begin to wonder as the curly-haired boy continues to list his non-accomplishments?
“I couldn’t grow up,” he tells us, “because I died from an accident.”
Yes, the American insurance company decided the Super Bowl was the most appropriate time to remind the world that preventable accidents are the number one cause of childhood deaths.
“Together, we can make safe happen,” insists the ad.
Judging from the backlash, certain people’s jobs won’t be safe for long.
Well that was an awesome Super Bowl that narrowly avoided being ruined by that Nationwide dead kid commercial. #superbowlcommercials— Chris Gore (@ThatChrisGore) February 2, 2015
Writing that commercial for Nationwide might've been a bad idea. #IOnlyDoSad— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) February 2, 2015
When you saw that Nationwide commercial. pic.twitter.com/NjuXiqYK0W— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOZone) February 2, 2015
Nationwide commercial: The gift that keeps giving. pic.twitter.com/nUzuGxwjME— Brett Edgerton (@EditorEdge) February 2, 2015
UPDATE: Late Sunday, amid "a fierce conversation" across social media about the ad, Nationwide released a statement explaining it simply wanted to raise awareness about child safety :
"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," its statement read.
The company added that it knew the ad would spur "a variety of reactions" but it also noted that thousands had visited MakeSafeHappen.com, its website designed to educate parents and caregivers about making homes safer and avoiding potential injuries 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."