Really, Nationwide?

Did anyone else notice the not-so-funny tone of Super Bowl commercials this year? It seems like all of the advertising agencies got together and agreed to make viewers cry instead of laugh. Most notably, the Nationwide “Make Safe Happen” commercial. The ad features a little boy saying all of the things he couldn’t do, like learn to ride a bike or get “cooties” from girls. In the middle of all of the “awww”s from viewers, the little boy states, “I couldn’t grow up, because I died…” The viewers “awww”s quickly turned to shock and everyone shared a stunned expression similar to Richard Sherman’s.

The commercial has a PSA-type message about preventing accidents in the home. There is footage of an overflowing bathtub, a fallen TV, and spilled detergent. This Nationwide commercial has a very different mood than the one aired earlier in the night that starred comedian/writer, Mindy Kaling. Viewers took to Twitter to share their opinions of the commercial.

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Clearly this “Make Safe Happen” commercial did not settle well with viewers. Nationwide responded with a statement on February 1st regarding the negative feedback.

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The statement claims that the commercial was meant to start a conversation about making homes safer for children. It did start a conversation, but a different one than desired. People are talking about how depressing the commercial is and why Nationwide took it upon themselves to try to start this particular conversation. The statement says they aren’t trying to sell insurance, but Nationwide is an insurance company.

So what is the actual goal of this advertisement? Why spend so much money for a primetime commercial spot that doesn’t positively benefit the company? What do you think Nationwide actually expected to happen after airing this commercial?

-Kelli Hall, Mallory Brayman, Morgan McCleaf