Wow, here we were thinking the most depressing thing to come out of the Super Bowl was the fact that we had to go to work on Monday with a hot wings hangover. But, nope, everyone's big game high was completely deflated (har har) as soon as they saw Nationwide's Super Bowl ad about a dead child. You read that right — even though the company tickled us all earlier in the game with a completely charming Mindy Kaling commercial, Nationwide decided to kill everyone's buzz by killing a child. (Remember that Budweiser puppy ad, guys? Guys?!) So, really, the Internet had no choice but to create a series of memes based on the Nationwide Super Bowl ad.
Of course, it was hardly the response that Nationwide had intended — surely, it had only intended to appeal to parents' heartstrings by impressing the importance of safety on all viewers — but did we have a choice but to counter-balance the unnecessary dose of sadness with Internet hilarity? No, no, we did not, particularly when the ad itself delivered a blow after 30 seconds of initial whimsy. You did this to yourself, Nationwide, even if your intentions were good.
Before we get to the memes, in case you need a reminder (or in case this Super Bowl game is just too fun for you), here's Nationwide's spot:
And here, my friends, are just a few of the meme-d responses to come out of the 50-second buzzkill journey:
Late Sunday night, Nationwide issued a statement regarding their ad to NBC News:
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.