In every Super Bowl, there seems to be a few ads that get the attention. Marketers put their best effort into crafting the perfect commercial and these efforts can be either brilliant or a total flop. Some of the best ads seem cleverly designed to spark a discussion. In this vein, the Nationwide Insurance slot seemed good for getting people talking even when a lot of those people claimed that Nationwide was doing what a lot of insurance companies do and trying to shift more of the responsibility onto people right when they need their insurance the most.
The message in this video seems to be pretty straightforward. Inattention on the part of parents is a factor in many fatal accidents involving children. Distractions happen. You might get that phone call from someone you haven’t heard from in about forever. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about your six-month-old son in the bathtub even when he’s in one of those baby-sized inflatable bathtubs. A child that young isn’t going to save himself from drowning. Every parent who has lost a kid in an accident can tell you that it just takes 30 seconds of inattention.
Naturally, this particular type of message seems to attract the detractors. Tweets included one from Patton Oswalt that snarked, “The second I see a kid in one of these commercials I immediately assume they’re going to die. Thanks, Nationwide! #SuperBowl” Rob Fee added, “”Hope you guys are having a great day. Did you know your kid is probably gonna die soon? Enjoy your nachos & funeral planning!” – Nationwide.”
Such sarcasm in the face of an important message about avoidable accidents really says a lot about the people doing the commenting. Perhaps they simply don’t want to admit that it could happen to them or their kids when the National Institute of Health lists accidents as the leading cause of death for people between 1 and 24 years of age. Such a downer message distracted them from watching the Patriots win in a nail-biting fight-to-the-finish game and they didn’t like the reminder that being distracted could have worse consequences than just putting football fanatics in a bad mood.
I do get why Nationwide decided on this particular ad. The whole point of insurance is to make sure you’re financially covered when something that’s completely out of your control happens. You can be the most careful driver on the planet and still get T-boned by a drunk driver. I figure Nationwide is being honest here. It wants to reduce the amount that it pays out due to avoidable accidents even if it means driving home the fact that you could miss watching your children accomplish important milestones if you let yourself get distracted.