Nationwide’s “Make Safe Happen” commercial about fatal child accidents buzzkilled an entire Superb Owl-watching nation Sunday night, a couple hours before the New England Patriots did it for real by winning:
The ad — which featured a posthumous testimony from a child killed in a preventable accident, as if M. Night Shyamalan were doing insurance commercials — prompted quick social media backlash, to the point that Nationwide issued a statement explaining its intentions.
“Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America,” the company said late Sunday night. “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.”
Nonetheless, Nationwide’s Facebook page was inundated with complaints from people who spell ad “add,” while Twitter worked overtime on gallows-mockery:
Nationwide till that boy died
— Calvert Morgan (@CalMorgan) February 2, 2015
Wow. The dead Nationwide kid is missing a hell of a game.
— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) February 2, 2015
For God's sake, Nationwide, I'll buy your insurance, just please stop the dead-kid promoted tweets and stay away from my dogs.
— Michael Schaub (@michaelschaub) February 2, 2015
I stand with @Nationwide. You people live in a fantasy. Your children could die. When they do, their blood will be on your ignorant hands.
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) February 2, 2015
The next Nationwide ad, basically pic.twitter.com/Iwnr0u8286
— Matt O'Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) February 2, 2015
[Image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org