Nationwide’s ad about accidents that kill children was the most depressing commercial of the Super Bowl.
It was also the most talked about.
The spot features a young boy saying he’d never learn to fly, travel with his best friend, or get married because he died in an accident.
Then the camera cuts to a bathtub overflowing with water and open kitchen cabinets with spilled chemicals.
Critics slammed the ad, calling it morbid and disturbing and accusing the company of using child deaths to sell insurance.
Nationwide has since responded to the backlash, saying it wasn’t intended to be a sales pitch.
“The sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
The point of the ad was to inform people that the No. 1 cause of child deaths is preventable accidents around the house, the company said.
Nationwide said it knew the commercial would ignite a backlash.
“We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions,” the company said. “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.”
Here’s the ad.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.