Nationwide defends their depressing Super Bowl commercial

Nationwide Make Safe Happen Commercial

If you ask a group of people what was the funniest Super Bowl 49 commercial, you’re bound to get a variety of answers. The same for best, smartest, most memorable, etc. But, the most depressing ad? That title unanimously belongs to Nationwide for their commercial “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up,” about a kid who died in an accident.

As soon as the commercial aired, it sparked outrage from people who don’t like to think about sad things during the middle of a Super Bowl party. Others, including celebrity viewers, went after the insurance company for appearing to promote their services in such a dark way.

“That PREVENTABLE accidents ad from Nationwide was awful,” Judd Apatow tweeted. “Way to ruin my day insurance jacka**es. How do we prevent them s**theads??!!”

Patton Oswalt also tweeted, “‘Wish my death could made some sweet bank for my parents.’ — Nationwide. #SuperBowl”

Now, Nationwide is standing by the commercial while trying to clarify they weren’t pushing insurance: In a press release issued on Monday night, the company said their intention was to “start a conversation, not sell insurance.” Here’s the statement in full…

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, 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.

Does Nationwide’s explanation justify the commercial? Or do you think there was a better way to get the point across?

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