Why Nationwide's Sad Super Bowl Ad Still Served Its Purpose

Every year after the Super Bowl commences, people talk about more than just the debatably unfair ref calls and result of the game. Viewers analyze everything from the outfits worn during the half-time performance to the quality of the year's outrageously expensive commercials—and this year is no different.

During the NFL championship game yesterday, Nationwide aired a controversial commercial (ICYMI, watch it below) meant to raise awareness about the leading cause of childhood death: preventable injuries. The ad promoted the "Make Safe Happen" campaign with a young boy narrating all the things he wouldn't do, before finally announcing that the reason...is because he's dead.

There is no denying that the advertisement is both jaw-dropping and saddening, but many viewers are completely outraged by the decision to air such a serious ad during a major sporting event. In response, Nationwide released this statement shortly after the commercial aired.

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.

While the ad may not be what you expect (or want) to see while devouring hot wings with family and friends, it doesn't mean Nationwide went too far. Nationwide intended to provoke thoughts and start a conversation, and they succeeded in doing just that.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Image: Safety First written on chalkboard via Shutterstock

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