Nationwide - Super Bowl Ad Backlash
Nationwide Insurance ran into some social media backlash to its Super Bowl Commercial entitled, "The Boy Who Couldn't Grow Up." The company says the ad was intended to spark a "fierce conversation" about preventing childhood deaths.
The ad depicted a little boy talking about how he will never kiss a girl, ride a bike, travel the globe, or marry. Why? Because he died from a preventable household accident.
The company was promoting its "Make Safe Happen" program about ways to increase safety at home. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preventable injuries are the number one cause of death among children.
Judging from social media complaints, childhood death is not a conversation people want during Super Bowl parties. Bloomberg reported that about 64 percent of the social media buzz was negative, the worst of any advertising in the Super Bowl.
The "Make Safe Happen" program is a good program and will hopefully bring more awareness to these tragic but preventable household accidents. I don't believe the Super Bowl was the right setting to roll the campaign out, the ad was way too dark for such a fun, energetic, light-hearted environment. Although look at the attention it is getting, I doubt I would be blogging about the ad if I saw it on normal air time. Maybe the Ad Executives over at Nationwide are smarter than we think!