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Super Bowl
XLIX’s Biggest Buzz Kill

Written by Max Hess, 2 years ago, 0 Comments
  • © espensorvik

Well, here we are. Monday after the Super Bowl.

If there is one thing people are talking about more than the game itself, it’s the commercials. Unlike most other televised events, people actually want to watch Super Bowl ads and that’s something that companies (with the resources to do so) are known to take advantage of.

The ads are branded largely by creativity, outrageous animations, humor and sometimes even patriotism. Yesterday, there was also this:

 

What. Was. That?
Before I go into detail about why I believe that was a complete swing-at-a-miss, let me introduce you to some of my favorite tweets that came as a direct response to those grueling 47 seconds.


How about we don’t?

Nationwide Insurance is a multi-billion dollar company with over 30,000 employees. Can someone explain to me how that commercial wasn’t halted by at least one of them?

I cringe at the thought of a parent who actually did lose a child to a preventable accident seeing that commercial. Here they are, watching the Super Bowl, eating wings, having a few beers and then… Buzzkill, sponsored by Nationwide.

Of course it sparked the interests of journalists across the country. Nationwide told NBC News, for example, that the ad was meant to “start a conversation, not sell insurance” – well, mission accomplished. It certainly did start a conversation, but I don’t think it started a conversation that people necessarily want to have. The “any press is good press” concept didn’t really apply in this case.

Thankfully not many of us will ever have to experience the pain of losing someone close at a young age – whether it be from a preventable accident or not – but I can guarantee you that trying to market insurance policies by grasping at the thought of a dead child isn’t the way to do business. Not now. Not then. Not ever.

Spreading a message about sensitive subjects is important. But it’s equally as important to make sure the message is executed just as sensitively as the subject it deals with. I’m sorry Nationwide, but that was a fail.

Read the full statement that Nationwide issued by clicking here.

About Max Hess

Max Hess is a public relations account manager with a background in television news. He is also a proud dual-citizen of the United States and Germany. Yes, he owns a pair of lederhosen.