So, say you’re at a party. Eating snacks. Socializing. Probaby drinking. Just kicking back, enjoying America’s Great Holy Day Super Bowl Sunday like, “heck yeah, Imma have some guac here and wait for Katy Perry to come on,” and all of a sudden someone just punches you in the heart. Like, you have no breath and you’re just dumfounded and aching in a room full of revelers. How rude, right?
That’s what Nationwide Insurance did to thousands of families who have lost children when they ran their “Make Safe Happen” ad during the game yesterday.
Look, I get that in this age of Everyone’s Offended it’s hard to discern what is truly offensive and what is just oversensitivity. People will get offended no matter what you put out there. Remember last year when everyone was all up in a tizz over the Audi prom kid not getting kiss consent? I see that ad didn’t run this year. Go Daddy pulled an ad that offended animal lovers. That same company also veered away from antagonizing feminists by doing away with the sexualized Danica Patrick ads. So why would a company like Nationwide, whose main customer base is presumably families, err on the side of ruining the Super Bowl for families with deceased children?
There were much better ways to get the message across that your home could be lurking with danger. Like, what if they showed an un-anchored dresser about to fall, but the Nationwide super hero bounds in to catch it just in time? Why can’t a dazzling Nationwide unicorn steed trot to catch a falling TV or turn off a bath faucet? At the suggestion of McDonald’s, let’s make it happy around here.
Instead, anyone who has ever lost a child had to sit through an adorable kid slumped over in a tux lamenting that he’ll never get married BECAUSE HE’S DEAD. One of my twins was stillborn in 2013 and while I knew months in advance she’d never be brushing off cooties on the bus or riding a bike, I choked up while watching this. It was fucking painful. I cannot imagine sitting through that if my child had died in a bathtub.
Sorry Nationwide, I’m not on your side on this one. Think about hiring ad executives with human feelings next time.
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Filed under: Grief