Nationwide's Super Bowl Commercial Statement Is A Good Explanation, But The Commerial Is Still Really Depressing
The Super Bowl may be over, but the hype surrounding all of the best — and worst — commercials is not. During Sunday's game, the country watched as companies forked over a ton of money to sell products and get people talking about their brand. One that people can't seem to stop talking about is Nationwide's commercial, featuring a dead kid and all the depressing stuff that comes with that type of thing. It was a pretty big WTF moment of the night, and it led to some pretty hilarious Nationwide dead kid Super Bowl memes. On Monday, Nationwide spoke out on their depressing commercial in a statement.
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.
I totally get the "the message was to start a conversation" thing, but Nationwide might want to take a page out of the NFL's anti-violence ad that partnered up with No More. The haunting nature of the anti-violence ad was more of a conversation starter, whereas Nationwide's commercial just left people holding their pita chip heaped with chicken buffalo dip while feeling more depressed than ever.
Despite Nationwide's attempt to create a conversation, the Internet seemed to focus their efforts on creating memes and jokes about the ad. From making fun of the depressing nature of the commercial to the sheer randomness of the final hook at the end (seriously, we were all Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense at that moment), the Internet had a field day — FOOTBALL JOKE — with the commercial, and the kid.
On the flip side, Nationwide hasn't spoken out on their Mindy Kaling commercial, which I think should get equal attention. Kaling's commercial, which can be placed at the complete opposite side of The Spectrum of Super Bowl Commercial Depressing-ness, featured Kaling as Invisible Mindy. It was cute, funny, and so Kaling-esque (plus, Matt Damon, so win win). Nationwide, don't think you can use Kaling to distract us from your uber depressing commercial... She's powerful, but not dead kid powerful.