Is Nationwide on our side?

Taurus Moore

The Super Bowl is one of the most exciting and viewed sporting events in the country. To the fans, celebrities and athletes, the Super Bowl brings excitement from every corner of the nation.

Personally, unless my team is playing in the big game, I pay close attention to the advertisements that have been successful since the Super Bowl started. This year’s advertisements weren’t as pleasant and funny as they have been in the past.

The game itself was enjoyable, but when it comes to the world of advertising, it is obvious that not a lot of effort or thought was given within these commercials.

One commercial that really stood out for me was the widely-discusssed Nationwide ad. Basically, there was a child that was stating he would never go on an adventure, experience cooties, get married, live his life, etc. Why? Because he is dead.

This was one of the most depressing commercials I have ever watched on Super Bowl Sunday. It gave me the sense that Nationwide believes it is important for children to know that they need to be insured because if they don’t, they will die.

Usually, Nationwide gives a positive message with their ads. They let their clients know they are on their side. It’s stated in the famous jingle: “Nationwide is on your side.” From this commercial alone, it doesn’t seem that way.

If accidents happen to anyone that is insured with them, they should be able to help them by all means. Advertising in this form is not a helpful way of getting the people’s attention. It didn’t help them create an environment of safety.

It is more frightening than helpful, especially for children. When I saw this commercial, I was shocked by the dead boy and the brief description that was shown in the end of the ad.

Peyton Manning, who was featured in one of Nationwide’s commercials during the majority of the NFL regular season, may have wondered why his sponsor chose such a skeptical approach.

The commercial was a disappointment for  many viewers across the nation. The message was very somber for a big sporting event such as the Super Bowl. It is supposed to be a time of joy and fun when everyone is watching football. 

Nationwide has been receiving scrutiny due to this advertisement. An insurance company is supposed to help their clients’ lives, not advertise the end of them. Is Nationwide really on your side? Only you can make that call.

However, don’t let the advertisement itself make you believe that Nationwide will not be helpful as far as finances and health are concerned, but be cautious of the message that they are sending.

Column by Taurus Moore, Graduate student from Wadesboro, N.C.

2 Comments on "Is Nationwide on our side?"

  1. Matt Mauschbaugh | February 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm |

    As a Murray State alumnus, I find this column highly offensive. Not only does Nationwide provide Murray State students and alumni jobs and internships in multiple fields, I'm sure they also provide insurance to a number of families. Certainly my knee jerk reaction to seeing this commericial was "Oh my gosh, how morbid!". However, you have to take a look into the message they were sending and dig a little deeper then the surface. Was the timing of the ad improper in the Superbowl? That's a discussion for another day. In a blog I was reading (http://janasthinkingplace.com/). Jana discusses how she is a mother and had to bury her own child and the context of the ad.

    To quote Jana here, she says "As a Super Bowl ad, Make Safe Happen was a buzzkill. But it made you talk. And that? May just allow more children to get cooties and learn to fly. Isn’t that worth it?"

    Certainly the ad was a buzzkill, but what better time to air the ad then when millions of people all over the world are watching the Superbowl. It raised awareness for families that this can happen. Maybe the whole idea of the ad was to not sell insurance, but get people talking, get people thinking about the bigger issue at hand, which is how preventable childhood deaths are around the home. The vast majority of deaths in childhood homes are in some way, shape, or form preventable. The intent of this ad was to raise awareness for the safety and well being of children- something that is near and dear to everyones heart, no matter what a persons age is, no matter what their martial status is, and no matter if they have kids or not.

    This article to me at least, was interpreted as bashing Nationwide. It's not fair to a company that provides a lot of insurance for families and a lot of jobs for Murray State students to be bashed like this. This ad got people talking. It got people thinking. The makesafehappen.com website saw its clicks skyrocket this past week since the ad ran. Didn't it meet its goal of getting people to talk about childrens death's and how to prevent them? Is Nationwide on your side? You're damn right they are. And they have been for a number of years. For the past 60 years they've worked countless hours and spent who knows how many dollars on how to make homes more safe and prevent accidently deaths in homes. Maybe its just the "millenial" era to where we want things to be all hunky-dory esque. That's not the case, Nationwide came straight at us and didn't beat around the bush. With an issue like this, you really can't beat around the bush. Jana does an excellent job of talking about this in her blog, sure death isn't what people WANT to hear, but in order to raise awareness, people NEED to hear it. Change isn't easy, change takes time and change takes a lot of buy in from everyone. But it starts by talking about things we need to hear instead of things that we want to hear.

    I hope that more research can be done before articles and columns get published. I'm sure the intent here was not to bash the company, but thats how it was perceived to me. Just take 5 minutes and do a quick google search and actually watch the full ad for Make Safe Happen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JoELI1h7nM&feature=player_embedded). Maybe it'll change your mind, maybe it wont. But the most important thing is, this ad has people talking about accidental home deaths and how to prevent them. Even if it just saves 1 life, it did its job and has raised awareness for people of all walks of life about home safety and how preventable a lot of incidents, accidents, and deaths are.

  2. Just to let you know, the purpose of my column wasn't to offend, it was to resolve. I completely understand where you are coming from but also at the same time, I found the ad itself very frightening and controversial. All I am saying is basically that nationwide's ad in particular was talking about a kids death being controversial, not towards the great people of Murray State University. I think there was somewhat of a misunderstanding. However, as a fellow racer, I want to make one thing clear about this particular subject, if you want people to be insured, give them an enlightening reason to do so, don't frighten them. Once again, I apologize if this offends you. There is somewhat of a misunderstanding

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