Nationwide Commercial Explained: Depressing Super Bowl Ad Meant To ‘Start Conversation’

The Nationwide commercial for the Super Bowl was so depressing that everyone is talking about it on Monday. Now we have an explanation as to why the company decided to go this route.

In general, Super Bowl commercials are mostly lighthearted, but this year for some reason, Nationwide and others chose to do more somber ads to get their message across. Few didn’t notice the recurring theme of fathers’ shortcomings while the kids were young and later trying to mend their ways.

But the trophy for the most depressing Super Bowl commercial went to Nationwide, with the “dead kid” ad. The controversial clip shows a regular kid talking about all the things kids his age do, but he won’t be able to because he is dead, killed in a domestic accident.

The message was obviously intended to show that accidents in the home can result in a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. However, the question being asked this Monday morning is whether Nationwide was a bit extreme in the manner in which their commercial was presented.

People were a little taken aback during the first half of the Super Bowl XLIX, when the ad debuted, and it’s now been dubbed the most depressing ad ever at the big game. The scruffy-haired kid is seen hanging outside, but something is not right.

Despite all the backlash, Nationwide is also a big winner with their commercial since it’s all people are talking about the day after. But following scathing criticism on social media, the company decided to issue a statement late Sunday afternoon.


“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.”

What did you think of the Nationwide Super Bowl commercial?

[Image via Nationwide]