Among all the funny and tear-jerking commercials aired during the Super Bowl yesterday, who would have thought there would be an ad on avoiding accidental deaths of children? While I’m all for starting the conversation on end-of-life issues and funeral planning, this was a serious miscalculation by Nationwide Insurance’s ad agency.
A young boy talks about how he won’t grow up, get cooties from a girl, learn to fly, travel the world or get married because he died from an accident as a child. Then a female voice over scenes of flooded bathtubs, household poisons and fallen television screens intones, “At Nationwide we believe in protecting what matters most… your kids. Together, we can make safe happen.”
Families that have had children die just had their Super Bowl watching experience take a dive. There is a time and a place for this conversation, but not in the midst of football game revelry.
Nationwide did release a statement about the response to their “Make Safe Happen” ad.
“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.”
Congratulations, Nationwide Insurance – you got people talking, but perhaps not in the way you wished.