Nationwide explains most hated Super Bowl ad

Nationwide Insurance felt an online backlash following its Super Bowl commercial in the first half of Sunday’s game. Now, the company is trying to explain the concept behind the commercial.

The commercial titled “Make Safe Happen” shows a young boy playing and enjoying his neighborhood. You are then shocked when you learn the boy has actually died in a preventable accident.

The ad goes on to say “The number one cause of childhood deaths is preventable accidents. At Nationwide, we believe in protecting what matters most, your kids. Together we can #MakeSafeHappen.”

Following the depressing ad, Twitter erupted.

“The second I see a kid in one of these commercials I immediately assume they’re going to die. Thanks, Nationwide!” Tweeted Patton Oswalt.

“A parade. Children, laughing. Two teenagers on a first date. Sorry, but the world actually perished in a senseless nuclear war. Nationwide,” Tweeted Ezra Klein.

After the Super Bowl, Nationwide released the following 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, 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.”

So, the question becomes, will all the talk actually lead to better brand recognition for Nationwide? That remains to be seen.

“So everyone hated the Nationwide commercial. Which means everyone will be taking about Nationwide. Which means Nationwide wins,” Tweeted Seth Davis.​ provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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