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2/2/15blog post

did Nationwide make you mad? good!

Another Super Bowl is in the books – with enough controversy surrounding it to last until baseball season. And another set of Super Bowl commercials have also been launched- but not without controversy as well.

Overall, it seems media pundits are in agreement that this year’s commercials were more somber than usual – brands focused on evoking emotion for social change vs. the more humorous or suggestive tactics of previous years.

One commercial in particular has sparked a social media firestorm: Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen. This commercial features an adorable little boy talking about what he will never be able to do – because he died due to a preventable accident.

While somber and direct, this ad echoes the message that I have been sharing for years – child deaths due to preventable accidents happen every day, in every community, and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to prevent them. In fact, over 9,000 families lose a child each year from a preventable accident.

Ratings for this year’s Super Bowl are the highest ever – 111 million tuned into this epic battle. While most tune in for entertainment – there are very few opportunities to get messages out to such a large group of people. Why else would a 30-second commercial cost $4.5 million? What better venue to share such an important message about protecting our children?

The social media frenzy included comments that the commercial was a downer, in poor taste and offensive. Maybe this anger and sadness will move people out of complacency to begin a conversation.

I applaud Nationwide Insurance for taking such a strong stand. They recently announced their new home safety partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide and their new website And this ad truly shows their dedication to the cause.

Shortly after the media eruption they issued the following statement, “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. … While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.”

This dialogue is sorely needed – we owe it to the 9 million children who go to the emergency department each year due to preventable injuries!

Since I began blogging in 2010, I have blogged on many of these accidental injuries. Here are some previous posts about many of the home safety injuries that are too frequently seen.

Television tipovers
Bathtub drownings
Medication poisoning
Backover accidents