A well intended ad from Nationwide was not at all well received by TV watchers on Sunday.
An insurance company joined the Seattle Seahawks on the losing side of Super Bowl Sunday, as the NFL team suffered from an interception at the last minute, while Nationwide released a commercial that viewers found to be depressing and downright creepy.
The insurer felt that it was a good idea to share a very important message about preventable accidents.
With this in mind, the Nationwide Insurance company released a Super Bowl commercial that broke away from the traditional upbeat, fun nature of the biggest NFL game of the year, in favor of a bleak statement about childhood mortality, that left the blood in the veins of viewers running cold. Football fans were drawn out of the excitement of the game in order to watch a little boy describe all of the things that he would never be able to do.
The insurance company’s Super Bowl commercial was a story told by a boy who had been killed in an accident.
The boy explained that he would not ever be able to “learn to ride a bike.” He went on to list many other things that he would not do, from being able to “travel the world with my best friend,” to getting married. The reason that the sweet faced boy would not be able to do these things, he explained was that “I couldn’t grow up, because I died from an accident.”
This insurance strategy didn’t sit well with many viewers, as the social media lit up with criticisms over the ad. It is true that many feel that it is very important to remind the American public about the importance of taking appropriate precautions in order to prevent accidents, as they are the leading cause of childhood deaths, but many also question the timing of the presentation of this message.
The boy closed the TV commercial by saying “Together, we can make safe happen.” An important message, certainly, but judging by the backlash over social media, Super Bowl viewers did not feel that the timing was at all appropriate.
The following are a tiny fraction of the tweets mentioning the insurance company immediately following the commercial’s initial airing during the Super Bowl:
• As bad as that play call was… still not quite as bad as that @Nationwide commercial. #SuberbowlXLIX — Jeremy Hubbard (@JeremyHubbard) February 2, 2015
• Think they are depressed now, just want until the @Seahawks see that @Nationwide commercial…. #SB49 — Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) February 2, 2015
• Wow that was a depressing commercial @Nationwide @OnYourSide . Bad, just bad. — Hector Rios (@hrios1976) February 2, 2015
• 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