I don’t remember 90% of the Super Bowl commercials from last night. But in their defense, I don’t remember 90% of what I did yesterday. I remember Lindsay Lohan’s Esurance commercial because my eardrums are still chafed and raw from listening to her “Harvey Fierstein after smoking 2 packs a day for 50 years” voice and I also remember the Squarespace commercial because I don’t know whether to feel terrified or turned on while thinking of Jeff Bridges humming next to my bed. And of course, I remember the Nationwide commercial because as soon as it aired, people on Twitter freaked out and declared Nationwide the Debbie Downer of Super Bowl commercial for knocking the buzz out of everyone.
Nationwide’s commercial started out normal. They showed us a kid doing kid stuff and then the PLOT TWIST nobody wanted came when we found out he’s dead! I didn’t know that the author of The Lovely Bones wrote and created Super Bowl commercials for insurance companies. As soon as that Nationwide kid died, a meme was born.
I expected Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” to play at the very end. It was like Boyhood as directed by Lars Von Trier. Is their next commercial going to be the scene in Bambi where his mom gets shot? Since that mess of a commercial pissed off a lot of people and many didn’t know what they were trying to say, Nationwide issued a statement late last night saying that it wasn’t about selling insurance, it was about raising awareness and letting people know that kids die in household accidents:
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 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.
Translation: The point of Nationwide’s dead kids ad was to get people talking about Nationwide. Yes, that shit was depressing and dark, but so was the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer because it once again reminded us that Twilight fanfiction was actually turned into a multi-million dollar feature film.
And the Nationwide kid totally got his hair styled by PJ from the Ford Fusion commercial.