Nationwide is NOT on Our Side

Ugh. I just watched the Nationwide commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. The one that generated so much buzz for being…well…a buzz kill.

As I watched the wretched thing, I prayed for the thousands of families who have suffered the loss of a child due to accident. How many of them tuned into the Super Bowl, hoping for diversion and distraction from a pain that never leaves…only to be brutally reminded of their loss thanks to a stupid commercial?  I know they never, ever forget the loss, but why does an insurance commercial need to rub salt in that wound?

What also irks me about this commercial is that the message it gives to all parents. We know that accidents happen.  Most of us are doing our best to prevent accidents from happening. But, nevertheless, accidents happen. Children get hurt. Some die. It is all so, so sad, but accidents are a byproduct of LIFE. And I do not understand why we need a tasteless commercial to dump additional responsibility and liability on parents who are already doing so much to provide for and protect their precious little people.

This commercial does nothing more than incite fear. It doesn’t teach any lessons about how to prevent accidents. It doesn’t teach parents about how to keep kids safe. This commercial only makes parents feel more vulnerable to the randomness of life and death. I think Nationwide’s 30 seconds would have been better spent educating on how to prevent an accident, rather than just letting us all know that accidents happen.

If you’d like to watch a feel-good Super Bowl comercial, check out this one from NBC. At 0:35 you’ll see my family, smiling and enjoying life despite the accident that might be lurking right around the corner…

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4 Comments for this entry

  1. Heather says:

    I have lost two children and I did not mind the commercial. I thought they could have done some things better but they touched on a subject that is incredibly difficult to talk about. Bereaved parents think about their children all of the time. A commercial does not trigger what we feel. We feel grief and miss all of the time. Honestly? The daddy commercials were just as hard to watch. It’s okay to have a dialogue about child death. Not sure if the Super Bowl was the best venue but when is?

    • Maureen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Heather. I agree that it is ok to have a dialogue, but in my opinion the commercial did nothing to actually make kids safer from the kinds of random and horrible accidents it references. I wish the 30 seconds had been spent educating parents how to avoid an accident – not just telling us that accidents happen.

  2. Amy B says:

    An alternative reaction to the commercial in question. Food for thought at the very least.

    • Maureen says:

      Thanks for sharing. I’m not upset for the reasons most people are. I don’t think it was a “buzz kill” – I just don’t think it was effective. For me, it instilled fear rather than motivating me to make changes. I wish it focused on ways to prevent accidents, rather than just scaring viewers. Just my two cents.

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