Worst Super Bowl Ad? #Nationwide

Yo, Nationwide. That ad you just ran on the Super Bowl? What is it proposing? Parents of dead children just weren’t careful enough?

Way to twist the knife!

One of my favorite comments to this site ever was this: “Most of the time, when something bad happens to a kid, it isn’t because of bad parents, it’s because of bad luck.”

Nationwide seems to suggest that any parent who lets a kid ride a trike to the corner is asking for tragedy.

Maybe it should call itself Damnationwide. Because if anything happens to your child it’s your own damned fault. – L

, , , , ,

94 Responses to Worst Super Bowl Ad? #Nationwide

  1. SKL February 2, 2015 at 12:18 am #

    Yeah, that sucked. I also wasn’t thrilled with the one about “this is how girls run/fight/throw.” “Watch what you say, because pubescent girls hate themselves.” Aside from being poorly made, it was awkward having my 8yos watch that.

    And then too, I was wondering why Victoria’s Secret was advertising on the Super Bowl. But that’s a whole other discussion.

  2. Barbara February 2, 2015 at 1:01 am #

    That Nationwide commercial made me want to throw something at the TV. How dare they blame an accident on a parent. I’m sorry, Nationwide is calling for MORE hovering!!! Give me a break!. Even my 10 & 12 y/o’s were pissed off at the ad.
    Tell you one thing…I will boycott Nationwide and would love to call for others to do so. Lenore, you have the soapbox, how about it?

  3. Walter Underwood February 2, 2015 at 1:28 am #

    Yeah, the ad is playing on fears, but it is badly-written and nearly unintelligible. Did the cute kid drown in the ancient bathtub? Get crushed by a TV? How is Nationwide supposed to prevent that?

    I guess they have some kind of home inspection thing, but it sure isn’t clear from the ad.

  4. Earth.W February 2, 2015 at 2:28 am #

    Nothing makes money like fear and the hate of oneself.

  5. Ration Risktaker February 2, 2015 at 4:11 am #

    I dunno, it didn’t bother me that much. It seemed like they were trying (using emotional music, but whatever) to show what things are *actually* risky for little kids. Like being unsupervised in a bathtub, or being in a traffic accident especially without a proper seat. Ride-a-bicycle was what the kid *missed* because he’d drowned in a bathtub. He died in a *preventable* accident, not because he was kidnapped by a stranger or played in the park.

  6. Mike February 2, 2015 at 4:43 am #

    I guess it was a good ad, because I went to their website to figure out what the hell it was about. I’m still not sure how insurance companies prevent household accidents.

  7. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    I won’t watch Katy Perry and the halftime show….because I died in a depressing Nationwide commercial.

  8. Michelle February 2, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, but my kids did and they thought this ad was ridiculous. It was the first thing they wanted to tell me about. 😛

    I did a Google search, and it looks like Nationwide is starting a campaign to “educate” people about “preventable accidents.” I found their press release kind of obnoxious (they actually seemed concerned that two-thirds of parents felt that they do an acceptable job of keeping their kids safe at home), but on the plus side, they suggest that kids are safer outside than sticking around the house (where most accidents occur). They’ve got an app with “safety tips” that I haven’t looked into yet.

    Check out the press release, Lenore:

    http://www.nationwide.com/about-us/012315-make-safe-happen.jsp

  9. I don't even February 2, 2015 at 7:24 am #

    I like the concept (because yes, drowning in a bathtub is a preventable accident) but poorly executed?

  10. Michelle February 2, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    Actually, I take back part of that. I don’t see where they suggested that playing outside is safer; maybe that was just what *I* was thinking when I read this from their website:

    “Survey identifies gap in issue awareness – only 28 percent of caregivers correctly identify preventable accidents as the leading cause of childhood deaths…

    “Today, there is a lack of awareness around this issue. National research conducted by Nationwide shows that most parents (94 percent) report their homes are the safest place for their children despite the alarming number of injuries and deaths. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of parents believe they are doing an acceptable job keeping their kids safe at home.”

    http://www.nationwide.com/about-us/012315-make-safe-happen.jsp

  11. Donns February 2, 2015 at 7:33 am #

    So that’s the dead kid ad my friends were talking about on Facebook. Or at least I hope it was the only dead kid ad. I watched online so didn’t get to see many of the commercials (just the stupid Kardashian one over and over).

    This ad is dumb. Since when does having insurance PREVENT an accident? ButbI don’t really see it as blaming parents as much as feeding into the idea that all accidents are preventable and that should be our goal.

  12. I don't even February 2, 2015 at 7:38 am #

    @Donn’s: There’s a ‘dead teenager’ advert. The first time I saw it, I thought it was about child neglect the first time.

    First one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU9OZgYNcNY

  13. MichaelF February 2, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    When I saw it I was wondering what the heck it was about until the end, was watching with some of the other parents my kids run around the block with. Most of the commercials the kids ignored or just walked away from thinking they were dumb. This was up there, but I also wasn’t sure what the concept was, idea was good, execution poor. I don’t have Nationwide, won’t be switching now.

    Although I did like the one about the “sorta Mom” who could not drive coming to pick up the kids, first off I thought it a good choice when the Mom said to get in the kids just stood there. “sorta Mom” driving off to her next accident. Smart kids.

    Personally I’d rather watch Victoria Secret than Foot Fungus commercials, but that’s probably just me.

  14. pentamom February 2, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    I don’t think Nationwide claims to do anything to prevent the kind of accidents referred to, or has a program about it.

    I think the point is that as an insurance company, “We care, so we’re reminding you that safety is important, or your kid might die.” It’s PR ad, it’s not making a product claim. From a purely rational point of view there’s nothing “wrong” with it, but it’s kind of stupid and pointless and depressing for a Superbowl ad. Oh, gosh, I wasn’t considering that I needed to keep my kids safe until a dumb Superbowl ad by an insurance company reminded me, and now I know to be careful.

  15. Nicole February 2, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    The dangers didn’t seem to be “riding your bike with friends”, it seemed to be accidental poisoning, drowning, and furniture tip over. Which are more toddler/preschooler dangers, so it’s weird they used, what appeared to be, a school aged kid (petite 3rd-5th grader, I’d guess?).

    Insurance isn’t going to help with preventing those, though. Advising parents to anchor their furniture, secure obvious poisons, and supervise bath time is pretty standard, but definitely does not require this level of emotional manipulation.

  16. Jill February 2, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    I predict that the child actor from the tasteless insurance commercial will become the stuff of urban legends, just like Mikey from the Life cereal commercial (who was not killed in Vietnam, despite what people think.)
    Before too long, we’re going to hear, “Hey! Did you hear what happened to that kid who played the dead kid in that Superbowl commercial? He got run over/ got killed in a drive-by shooting / OD’d on heroin.”
    aND Nationwide was smart enough to know that nothing grabs people’s attention like fear. And sex. At least they were tasteful enough not to have the kid abducted and murdered by a pedophile. That would be a commercial for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

  17. Jill February 2, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    I predict that the child actor from the tasteless insurance commercial will become the stuff of urban legends, just like Mikey from the Life cereal commercial (who was not killed in Vietnam, despite what people think.)
    Before too long, we’re going to hear, “Hey! Did you hear what happened to that kid who played the dead kid in that Superbowl commercial? He got run over/ got killed in a drive-by shooting / OD’d on heroin.”
    Abd Nationwide knows that nothing grabs people’s attention like fear. And sex. At least they were tasteful enough not to have the kid abducted and murdered by a pedophile. That would be a commercial for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

  18. Ann February 2, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    How about watchig this ad with friends whose young niece just died last week from an accidental drowning. It was awful! Terrible ad!

  19. Michelle February 2, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    pentamon Actually, this commercial is part of a whole campaign trying to “educate” people about “preventable accidents.” There’s a website and an app purporting to “teach” parents how to keep their kids safe around the house. The point of this is to reduce accidents, and therefore reduce payouts.

    http://www.nationwide.com/about-us/012315-make-safe-happen.jsp

  20. Kate Berger February 2, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Make sure you get a life insurance policy on your kid…in case they drown, or something.

  21. Matt February 2, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    I took the ad as at least they told parent the preventable accidents are the # killer of children and not strangers. A wake up call if you will.

  22. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Nationwide issued this statement about the commercial:

    “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. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.”

    OK, Nationwide.
    Here’s my fierce conversation if you want to “make safe happen”. As a parent who cares about the safety and *well being* of all children, perhaps the reason for more INDOOR household accidents is because children are rapidly loosing their ability to free play outdoors and are kept inside these indoor death chambers called homes(as you so eloquently showed in your child crime scene scenerios).

    How about promoting OUTDOOR free play for children, safe and interesting risk-taking so future generations aren’t bored out of their safe little minds and drinking drano?
    That would be a fierce conversation.

    Accidents are accidents.
    Hindsight is 20/20.
    They happen to good people all the time. But we don’t have a ban on staircases in houses. Yet.
    Stop the child death shaming already.
    And they succeeded in “starting a conversation and not selling insurance”. Because I’m typing now. And I won’t be buying Nationwide insurance.

  23. pentamom February 2, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    Yeah, I just can’t get all morally outraged about a business wanting to reduce losses by means of wanting something that everyone else also wants.

  24. BL February 2, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    What’s Nationwide going to do about the boy being sexually harassed by that girl on the school bus? Liability insurance for her parents?

  25. anonymous mom February 2, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    I thought it was kind of ridiculous–although politically understandable–that it included TVs and bathtubs but not firearms, when gun accidents are responsible for far more preventable childhood deaths (at least 175 per year and many think more like 300-400) than tipped TVs (less than 20 a year) or bathtub drownings (around 90 per year).

  26. Maggie February 2, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    That’s just fricken creepy!

  27. Donna February 2, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    We are supposed to believe that Nationwide bought the most expensive ads available for television just to “start a conversation.”

    I don’t even see where Nationwide saves money if there are less home deaths except in the case of life insurance. I don’t think my homeowners insurance pays if my own child drowns in our tub or gets smashed by our own TV. My homeowners may pay if my TV smashes another child, but not my own.

  28. C. S. P. Schofield February 2, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    Hey, Insurance compamies have always been about fear. Alan King used to do a substantial part of his set on them amd their tactics. You can see some of it on YouTube.

    And don’t miss his “Survived by his wife” rif, while you’re at it.

  29. Montreal Dad February 2, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Simply despicable.

  30. Nicole R February 2, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    I knew I could count on a discussion of this here!

    That ad bugged me SO MUCH when I saw it. — “We payed millions of dollars to make a fun event depressing, so trust us to protect you.” – Really??? I knew insurance issues were behind of lot of anti-FR stuff (closing sledding hills, etc.) but to blatantly just come out and tell parents to be even more worried is more than I expected.

    And everyone I was watching with was just looking around uncomfortably, like “What kind of ad is that?”

  31. SOA February 2, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    I honestly did not have a problem with the commercial. The things they showed killing the kids are things that do kill kids regularly. Leaving babies alone in bathtubs-big no no. Leaving out cleaners and other potential poisons unlocked where kids can get at them-big no no. Not anchoring big furniture like tvs to the wall or somehow child proofing them-big no no.

    These are things I strongly advocate for. Because those are the statistical things that do kill kids. Not the creepy stranger lurking in the bushes. The every day things that parents think they don’t have to worry about are the very things they DO need to worry about. And yes, if your child dies from the above mentioned 3 things that is your fault. Because they are easily preventable. Don’t leave babies alone in the bath. Anchor large furniture. Lock up potential poisons.

    That has nothing to do with letting your kid ride his tricycle outside on the sidewalk. That is a safe activity. Not locking up poisons is not a safe activity.

  32. Coasterfreak February 2, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    Yep, the ad was horrible, but then I thought most of the ads were horrible because there were lots of downers and few LOLs.

    I switched from Nationwide about 25 years ago, due to high rates and what I thought at the time to be questionable policies. At the time I referred to them as “Damnationwide”, so it made me chuckle to see it used here!

  33. Deb February 2, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    I’ve read some suggestions that while it was a bummer as a Superbowl ad, it still represented good advertising cause it got people talking.

    But, as a professional, I find it a baffling ad…because it has nothing to do with the product they are selling. Purchasing this company’s insurance wont’ keep the TV from falling on a child, or keep your child from drinking cleaning supplies stored under the sink.

    If my ad agency had shown me that ad, I’ve been asking how it spoke to our product’s benefits. I think it’s meant to be a brand-building ad…but I don’t think do much to create warm feelings about your brand by making parents feel bad, or by bringing the mood down during the Superbowl.

    Not the way I’d have chosen to represent my product.

  34. SOA February 2, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    Just as a frame of reference. I am good friends with a mom who is a great mom. But she thought herself invincible and said she did not have to childproof because she watches her kids. And her son almost was electrocuted to death on something that could and should have been childproofed. I think those kind of kid deaths are horrible and blameworthy because the kid gets no benefit from being able to play with the washer and dryer outlet.

  35. SOA February 2, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    In actuality some of the things they showed would be home insurance claims- the tub overflowing is a water damage claim. The tv breaking is a furniture damage claim which some people do insure housewares like furniture and expensive items.

    Do I love this ad? No, but it does have a point. Parents need to stop worrying about stupid stuff like the creepy predator lurking in the bushes outside the door and the vaccines being damaging and worry about the real stuff like kills kids-car accidents, drownings, electrocution, poisonings, etc.

    I don’t worry much at all about my child being sought out and murdered and tortured. I do worry about them being hit by a car or killed in a car accident or falling down the stairs. Because statistically those things are likely-ish compared to the other thing.

  36. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    “if your child dies from the above mentioned 3 things that is your fault. Because they are easily preventable.”

    An anchored piece of furniture can still give way.

    Little fingers can figure out childproof latches or discover grandpop’s heart medication in his overnight bag even with the childproof cap.

    And a supervised baby can drown if the caregiver suffers a seizure while bathing them. (Sadly, I know someone this happened to.) Instead of finger pointing and blaming them with “It’s your fault”, I prefer to show compassion and understanding that we are not perfect humans and not every death is preventable, despite are best safety advances and knowledge.

  37. Heather February 2, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    I do not agree. I think the commercial showed specific things that might be preventable that can cause a death in a child. Like the television falling, the hazards of materials under the sink, drowning, etc. For me the bike part was them showing the things the child did not get to do since they passed away from something preventable. I do not believe that was one of the things they were saying could cause a child to die.

  38. Warren February 2, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    LOL, this ad has done nothing more than relist all the same risks that have been around, identified and known for decades. There have been ads, campaigns and movements about this forever……….and guess what? Accidents still happen. No matter what, they will continue to happen. Bad things happen all the time, it is called life.

    What we don’t need is a profit oriented business shaming parents for not doing good enough. The moment you stop calling them accidents, and start calling them preventable accidents you are assigning blame on the caregiver.

    So from now on follow some more rules.
    1. When you come home from the store, isolate your children in a safe enviroment until all items are properly stored under lock and key.
    2. Never under any conditions leave your child unattended.
    3. Ignore 1 and 2 because they counter each other.
    4. As parents we are all screwed.

  39. SOA February 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Lollipoplover- if you suffer a seizure and your child drowns- no one is going to blame you for that. However if you go to answer the phone or check pinterest and your baby drowns, yes, that is your fault. Notice they said “preventable” accidents. We can’t prevent having a seizure out of nowhere. We can prevent ignoring a ringing phone when they baby is in the bathtub.

    We can keep potential poisons locked up and on a high shelf. We can put up stair gates to keep babies from falling down them. We can buckle our seatbelts. We can choose to not text and drive or drive drunk. We can put a baby in a playpen if we need to go to the bathroom so they don’t get into some kind of trouble while we are gone.

    It is not a all in situation. Some accidents are unpreventable. Some are preventable. That is a fact. With your logic, we should just never follow any safety rules because oh well no accidents are anyone’s fault ever and none can ever be prevented. And we know that is bullshit. Of course some can be prevented easily enough without stifling a child’s creativity or independence. As I said before, her son was not being hurt to not be allowed to play with the washer and dryer outlet. He had no business doing that so putting a lock on that door to keep him out of there would be a good thing.

  40. Warren February 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    SOA,
    Really, if your child dies for the three reasons you brought up, it is the parent’s fault? Because they didn’t anchor furniture? Lock up chemicals? And I personally know someone that slipped while picking up their baby from the tub, and she now has chronic back problems from the fall. Baby was fine.

    As for the other two, we took the approach to teach our kids not to climb on large furniture and taught them not to go into certain cupboards. Education is much more valuable than prevention.

  41. Donna February 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Now that I have seen the commercial on something other than my smartphone, I have another complaint. That kid is 6-8 years old. He is well beyond supervision in a bath, climbing furniture and the location of poisons being an issue. That is toddler stuff. It seems to be yet another media statement that any kid under middle school is an idiot that needs constant supervision and babyproofing.

  42. Andrea February 2, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    I didn’t think it was a very good ad, mostly because, at least to me, the content didn’t connect with the product at all, or do anything to make me feel more positive about the company. At least with the “Throw like a girl” ad there was a shred of connection with the product, and with the McDonald’s commercials, even though I don’t like McDonald’s it showed the company in a positive light.

    Are they trying to get us to buy life insurance for our kids?

  43. SOA February 2, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    Warren: I absolutely agree that education is the goal. But when kids are itty bitty they are not going to learn not to eat the tide pod after you telling them one time not to. It takes 100 times of telling a baby something before they get it. I think I read that somewhere. So while teaching them not to mess with household cleaners and to not climb furniture etc you also have to make sure that even if they do it anyway, they are still safe till that lesson has 100% sunk in.

    My friend told her son multiple times not to mess with outlets. Did not stop him from still almost electrocuting himself to death.

    Since no parent can be 100% vigilant 100% of the time, safety prevention and childproofing is important.

    I do agree the child in the commercial is beyond old enough to know not to do those things in the commercial and/or die from them, but I think that was just a logistic issue with a baby not being able to act and say the lines so they had to get an older kid.

  44. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    “We can put up stair gates to keep babies from falling down them.”

    I did install baby gates at the bottom and top of stairs and my son climbed over the gate and fell down the steps. I also had a bad fall trying to step over the gate instead of opening it.

    “Some accidents are unpreventable. Some are preventable. That is a fact.”

    Help me out with this, since you are obviously good at playing GOD and judging parents who lost children to accidental death. Which ones do you decide to point the finger at? For us,all of our family’s emergency room accidents happened with me right next to them or in our childproof house. My son cut his sister’s fingertip off with child-safety scissors while I sat on the other side of her. Are no scissors the only safe option?

    NOTHING is foolproof. Not even childproofing (and I am an advocate of doing all the above things to protect children).
    Playing the Death Blame Game serves no good purpose and is especially mean to families who lost children in accidents. They have been through enough.

    Nationwide Your Kid Just Died.

  45. Maxine February 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    My heart hurt for all the parents who’ve lost children who got blindsided by that manipulative piece of s^&t ad, compared to who actually had a meaningful “conversation” about child safety during a game that has caused brain damage in so many kids and adults. Nationwide should be ashamed of itself. Hated the Always ad too — as a whole they were mostly maudlin and manipulative wastes of money, with a few gems thrown in.

  46. Beth February 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    Dolly? Not all about you, mmkay?

  47. Jim McGRAW February 2, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    You are right what an awful ad. everyone call Nationwide at 614-249-6349 And complain. This is the media relations number and is where nationwide is sending the complaints.

  48. ARM February 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    Yes, it’s ridiculous, but it’s not surprising that people in the insurance business would naturally practice “worst-first” thinking. Goes with the territory, I imagine. (Not that we shouldn’t buy insurance, but selling insurance has got to make a person dwell way too much on every bad thing that can happen.)

  49. Eric S February 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    This is one of the many ways the “fears” we see in this day and age are spread. I just hope that most use some reason and common sense whenever things like this come their way.

    Don’t just read the “headlines”, read the whole “article”, then do research to see if there are actual evidence that supports the article, or if it doesn’t. Then by that knowledge, decide if “fear” is warranted. If more people did this, we’d be in a better mind frame as a society.

  50. Jim McGRAW February 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Take action that just takes a minute. Call the number that Nationwide is channeling the complaints to. 614-249-6349 then # to get right to a chance to record a complaint about this ads assault on free range parents and even worse the poor parents who have actually lost a child through no fault of theirs or by an accident.

  51. SOA February 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    Cutting your finger with safety scissors-not your fault.

    Leaving a baby alone in a bathtub while you go answer the phone-your fault.

    Not making your child buckle and they die in a car accident-your fault. Having them property restrained and someone rams you head on still killing your child-not your fault.

    I don’t think its rocket science.

  52. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    “That kid is 6-8 years old. He is well beyond supervision in a bath, climbing furniture and the location of poisons being an issue. That is toddler stuff. It seems to be yet another media statement that any kid under middle school is an idiot that needs constant supervision and babyproofing.”

    I so agree with this. You have bigger problems if your school-age child needs supervision near windows. Or drinks chemicals and detergent pods. So he rides the bus to school but could drown in the bath?? Don’t most kids this age start to shower? Should we always shower with them to prevent slip and falls? And perhaps the TV pulled off the wall because this kid is way too old and big to be swinging off of it. 8 is the new 2, no joke.

  53. Eric S February 2, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    NOTE: Insurance does NOT prevent misfortune. Insurance is for AFTER THE FACT. A compensation if you will to a misfortune. And sometimes, insurance companies will stiff their policy holders. They will find one LITTLE issue, and it’s “NO CLAIM FOR YOU!” So that 30 years of dumping into an insurance policy goes right out the window. The Insurance company makes billions, and many lose out.

    Like Chris Rock said, it should be called “Insurance”, it should be called “In case shit”. lol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pis7Ls9OMTA

  54. pentamom February 2, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    But the word “insurance” only means what insurance actually is. If they called it “ensurance,” there’d be a problem.

  55. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    “Leaving a baby alone in a bathtub while you go answer the phone-your fault.”

    What if the phone call you ignored was an emergency alert for a tornado that was coming right at you and but you didn’t take the call? If you answered your phone, got the baby and yourself to shelter, you both wouldn’t have died.
    Your fault?

    Tragedy is not black and white. It’s gray and murky and sad.
    We’ve gone from a culture that used to mourn children and support their grief-striken parents during times of tragedy to one that asks “Where was the mother?” after any young child dies and debate “Your fault” for horrible accidents.
    That is a tragedy.

  56. Beth February 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    One of my pet peeves is any assertion structured as: “Did you know that X is the number-one killer of people ages P through Q?” I’ve been hearing this in various contexts my entire life, and it’s always stated with a pause for effect, like I’m supposed to be outraged or shocked into action of some sort.

    But for any population, *something* has always got to be the number-one killer. If it wasn’t heart disease, it would be cancer, and if it wasn’t cancer, it would be car accidents, and if it wasn’t car accidents, it would be Alzheimers, and if it wasn’t Alzheimer’s, it would be AIDs, and if it wasn’t AIDS, it would be…ad infinitum.

    And *of course* preventable accidents are the number-one killer of children. What else would be? Heart attacks? This stat was true when I learned it in 5th grade health class in the 1980’s, and it made just as much intuitive sense to me at age 10 as it does now.

    It’s not even a bad thing. Put another way, would you rather that *something else* were the number one killer of children? Isn’t it good that terminal birth defects are on the decline, that we’re making strides in treating childhood cancer, that a majority of American kids are adequately nourished?

    Saying something is the “number one killer” of a particular age group doesn’t say anything about how often it actually occurs. The most relevant fact is that an overwhelming majority of people in our society survive childhood — more so than at any time in human history, I would wager.

  57. Hancock February 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    So this twelve(?) year old drowned in an over-filled bathtub, got poisoned ate nasty tasting dishwasher detergent packets, and got crushed to death under an light weight smart TV? How many ways must a child die to get the point across that every parent that fails to be all seeing, all powerful, ever present, and perpetually vigilant, is a nasty person who deserves the burn for eternity? Maybe the fatally clumsy, stupid, and baby like twelve year old needs to be electrocuted, fall down the stairs, and get locked in a horizontal deep freezer. Or lacerated by broken glass, burned in a gas explosion, and eviscerated by playing inside a machine machine…assuming, of course, that he came back to life after roasting in a parked car whilst the parents were picking up a prescription.

    Those poor helpless twelve year olds, however did humanity survive the middle ages?

  58. Jim McGRAW February 2, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    Better number for Nationwide about this assault on parents and football lovers 880 882 2822 ext 96985 Brenda a very nice person will talk to you about this.

    Let’s get an apology from nationwide for this ad.

  59. Sara Heard February 2, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    It’s not solely for PR and good will. If someone ELSE’S kid dies in an accident at your Nationwide-insured home, you can bet they’ll get hit with a big bill after a liability lawsuit. Maybe the message of the ad should have been “Make sure the kid who is crushed by your unsecured television set is your own.”

  60. Hancock February 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    Excuse me, eight years old or so. Still, that’s plenty old enough for a normal child to know how to not drown in the bath.

  61. Donald February 2, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Successful adverts are the ones that are remembered. Often, advertising agencies intentionally design an advert that people will hate. The only way to fight back is to not buy from them. Badmouthing can actually help them to be remembered. That’s why I encourage any badmouthing to also encourage others to not buy from them and to spread the word about their intention to put profits above all.

  62. SKL February 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Is there anyone intelligent enough to google “insurance” who does not already know about those obvious toddler risks?

    The child in the ad himself was old enough to protect a baby sibling from those risks.

  63. Sara Heard February 2, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    @Deb and others, I’m contradicting myself a bit, but one way in which it could help them is to be associated with caring about people. Kind of like CVS no longer selling cigarettes because they want to be seen as a pro-health company (sales on potato chips and Coca Cola notwithstanding)

  64. Warren February 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    Okay, let’s play the game.

    Not getting a babysitter, so you do not have to take the child in the car. Get hit by a drunk driver, and child dies. Your fault.

    Leaving a child with a babysitter, and babysitter has a heart attack and falls down the stairs. Baby and sitter die. Your fault.

    Although you know that it is rare, you are supervising your child at the park, and a hunk of space debris falls from the sky and kills the child. Your fault.

    Afraid of space debris killing your child, you keep said child indoors all the time. Child thru sheer boredom and lack of stimuli has a psychotic break and kill Mom. Your fault.

    SOA, stop with your stupidity.

  65. Jim February 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    I disagree with the entire premise of this post. You are bashing Nationwide with groundless accusations. Here is a more complete ad, where does it mention riding a Trike?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JoELI1h7nM#t=82

    Which thing they saying to be careful of does FreeRangeKids support:
    Is FRK think it is a great idea to letting babies and young toddlers take baths unattended?
    Does FRK think feeding your kids dishwasher packets is a healthy way to raise strong kids?
    Maybe it is the Free Range way to run over your kids with a car and whatever doesn’t kill them makes them stronger?
    Maybe you live on the 2nd/3rd floor and let your kids have their window wide open figuring they will learn from a broken back not to do that again?
    Or maybe you think your kids will grow up to be stronger if the glass shards of being crushed by a TV don’t kill them?

    Seriously, which of those things are NOT the parents fault? My TV is tethered, it is right on the install instructions. I do not back up my car if I even suspect my kids are outside where I can’t see them, I never left them alone in the bath until they were 3/4, and even now I keep an eye on them in the mirror (since the 6 year old likes to dunk the 4 year old)… And I have bars on the window… that the 4 year old probably could remove if he wanted, but he won’t accidentally get knocked out by his brothers wrestling or whatnot. When he was 2 I remember him saying he was going to jump out… so I don’t think this was unwarranted.

    Anyway. Nice sensationalist story. Unsubscribing from your silly RSS feed after a couple years on it.

  66. Melissa February 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    I know I’m probably late to this, but I was confused about how Nationwide was involved with these preventable accidents. If I use nationwide, they’ll tell me about these potential dangers? is that it? Because I highly doubt there are discounts for anchoring your TV and locking the cleaning cabinet, so I don’t get why it’s a Nationwide commercial at all, that’s the part I found conflicting. Shoulda been some child safety council commercial…maybe sponsored by nationwide, but I felt like they wanted me to switch to them because of these warnings. Weird commercial.

  67. Suzanne February 2, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    SKL – I’m completely with you about Victoria’s Secret, also – they sell clothes so maybe dress the models in those for your Superbowl ad. Back to the Nationwide ad, poor message, made in poor taste. Also, they help to prevent these accidents how? Is it by not paying out of those “preventable accident” claims so people will work harder to avoid them?

  68. Lisa @ Four Under Six February 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    I thought of this blog as soon as I saw that commercial. Way to fear monger Nationwide. :/

  69. Edward February 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    Read all the posts and watched the ad half a dozen times. Have to agree with one post above, Nationwide should fire the advertising company and possibly the executive who approved the finished product.
    Whatever message they were trying to get across simply is not clear.
    As for the rest, it is simply strong personal opinion whether or not it was insulting to anyone.
    As for me, I’m at least glad they seemed to use the word “accident” as it is defined in the dictionary and not some other legal term involving the word “neglect”.

  70. Papilio February 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    Glad I don’t have to pay that water bill. And what’s a kid that old still doing on a trike?

    @Beth: Yes, something has to be the number 1 killer for any age group. But if you want to do something to prevent death in that group, it does help to know what would be most effective.

    Btw, I thought car accidents are the number 1 killer among kids? Don’t they sell car insurance or something?

    “Not making your child buckle and they die in a car accident-your fault. Having them property restrained and someone rams you head on still killing your child-not your fault.”
    What – regardless of who (or what!) caused the accident and regardless of whether the kid would have lived if she had been properly restrained??

    “Abd Nationwide knows that nothing grabs people’s attention like fear. And sex.”
    Next year a fearmongering ad about sex 😛

  71. SOA February 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Kinda common sense- if you think a phone call is an emergency-get a towel and get the baby out of the bath and take them with you to answer the phone. Or better yet be proactive and bring the portable phone into the bathroom with you. I am a genius! Where is my nobel prize!?

    Speaking of worst first thinking-a tornado while your baby is in the bath is way less likely than an accidental drowning most likely.

  72. Havva February 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

    Nationwide’s statement: “Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. Most people don’t know that.”
    __________
    Is that even true?
    __________
    The CDC lists “unintentional injuries” as the leading cause of death for people from age 1-44, but “unintentional injuries” does not equal “preventable”[by parents] or “around the home.” In fact unintentional injuries includes car accidents, which appears to be the actual leading cause of death.

    http://www.livescience.com/19712-unintentional-injury-deaths-children.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_preventable_causes_of_death#mediaviewer/File:Causes_of_accidental_death_by_age_group_%28percent%29.png

    If nationwide was actually trying to do something about these deaths, perhaps they would do like my insurance agent and get their agents certified as car seat inspectors and have them offer free car seat inspections. Or how about an “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” “have a designated driver” spot?

    Poisonings also fall into that “unintentional injuries” category and those poisonings are going up…. among teens. Rather than the toddler and Drano scenario, that they are blaming this on, we actually have a problem of young people old enough to defeat child proofing. These teens are apparently attempting to get high out of the medicine cabinet. Maybe because they are bored out of their skulls instead of having the childhood adventures this kid “will never” have….

    Could just as well have re-mixed that to “I will never …. I will never…. I will never…. Because my parents wanted to keep me *safe*.” [Kid looking into camera] “I was bored, and I wanted an escape…” [Image warp into a teen, voice drops] “So I started getting high on prescription painkillers.” [Picture of medicine cabinet] “My parents didn’t find out until I accidentally poisoned myself.”

  73. Donna February 2, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    “Nationwide’s statement: “Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. Most people don’t know that.”
    __________
    Is that even true?”

    According to the CDC, the only thing from that commercial that even makes the list of top 10 unintentional accidents is drowning. Not poisoning or falling out a window or smashed by furniture.

    And drowning is not broken down into what happens at home and what happens someplace other than home – lakes, oceans, hotels with pools.

  74. Margot February 2, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    Wow, apparently there’s an insurance company that sends a rep over to watch your kids in the bath at 5:30pm every night. Where do I sign up?

  75. Warren February 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    One would think that an insurance company would understand and be able to crunch the numbers better. After all do they not base all of their premiums on basically staticstics.

    Would it not be great to have Lenore turn the tables and interview someone from the company, so they can explain how they come up with their numbers?

  76. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    Wow, I didn’t know you could just think a phone call was an emergency…that makes you psychic! You must have super powers.

    What I found very interesting about drownings (from CDC):

    “Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the US, where about 10 people die from drowning every day.

    The risk is even greater among children aged 1-4, who have the highest drowning rates, and it remains the second-leading cause of accidental death (second only to motor vehicle accidents) for kids 1-14.

    What’s shocking, however, is that many drowning deaths among children occur when the child is being supervised and may be only a short distance from an adult. Occurring quickly and quietly, a drowning can happen right before your eyes, before you even realize what happened.”
    Also, 50% of child drownings are in swimming pools, 10% in bathtubs.
    So learning what real drowning looks like and teaching children to swim at young ages saves lives.

  77. Michelle February 2, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    Childproofing and taking basic safety precautions is not a bad thing.

    Educating others about childproofing and safety precautions is not a bad thing.

    Starting a national advertisement / awareness campaign based on the premise that American parents don’t worry about their children enough? That I have a problem with.

    I’m just going to quote this one more time:

    “Today, there is a lack of awareness around this issue. National research conducted by Nationwide shows that most parents (94 percent) report their homes are the safest place for their children despite the alarming number of injuries and deaths. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of parents believe they are doing an acceptable job keeping their kids safe at home.” http://www.nationwide.com/about-us/012315-make-safe-happen.jsp

    THAT is where I take issue. NATIONWIDE INSURANCE IS *CONCERNED* THAT TOO MANY PARENTS THINK WE’RE DOING AN ACCEPTABLE JOB OF KEEPING OUR CHILDREN SAFE.

  78. SOA February 2, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    lollipop lover- well I don’t feel beholden to answer my phone every time it rings because that is worst first thinking to think every phone call is life or death. Boom see how I got you there.

    But again, I already provided a perfect answer which you ignored- bring the phone into the bathroom with you. Done and done.

  79. lollipoplover February 2, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    OK Dolly, you win! With your perfect parenting, you are the Sanctimommy of the Year. Congratulations!

  80. Lance Mitaro February 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    The whole “if it saves one child, it’s worth it” argument is an unobtainable pipe dream. That was the same lie used to sell Megan’s Law, another failed measure that protects no one.

    Terrible and shameless of Nationwide to release this intellectually dishonest and exploitative video. Glorifying the safety and welfare of children for profit whilst making the parents out to be the bad guys. Stay classy, Nationwide.

  81. hineata February 2, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    Wow! What a sick ad. Boy and his mates were complaining because they only screen some generic crappy ads down here during the ad breaks, and they wanted to see the American crap instead. Now I see this, I think they dodged a bullet (though, as someone pointed out above, there were no bullets mentioned, which for the land of the 2nd amendment is kind of weird).

  82. hineata February 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    PS does anyone find it ironic that Nationwide is prattling on about preventable deaths and then there’s Katie Perry swinging from a crane (? )
    while fireworks explode around her? I kept waiting for her dress to explode….that was about it for watching the Super Bowl for me.

    But I had 3 teen boys in my lounge who somehow escaped death as toddlers, giving a blow by blow account of the plays that SHOULD be happening (and evidently weren’t) in a game they’ve never played before. I was ready and willing to bust out the medicine cabinet, fill up the bath and back my car through the lounge wall by the end of the game. Maybe Nationwide should talk about the dangers of women bored crapless by inane teen banter….

  83. Beth February 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    There is NO WAY that Nationwide spent the kind of money that a Super Bowl commercial requires in order to “start a conversation”.

  84. Natalie Marose February 2, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    “The #1 cause of childhood deaths is preventable accidents.” That’s not blaming anyone. It’s uncomfortable and heart wrenching but true. We can all, always be better educated about keeping our children safe. Accidents do happen. They are accidental.

    It’s not just seeing a commercial that is painful for a parent that has lost a child…seeing just about everything is painful. Little things, big things, unexpected things… <3

  85. sexhysteria February 3, 2015 at 2:28 am #

    I think focusing on the primary cause of child death and serious injury is certainly preferrable to adults wringing their hands over indecent exposure and inappropriate touch.

    In pediatrics the phrase “injury control” is now preferred to “accident prevention” because the word “accident” implies something random and unpredicable, while in reality there are known risk factors and preventive factors in child fatality (e.g. seat belts).

  86. Owen Allen February 3, 2015 at 3:45 am #

    Strange connection between the death insurance product (buy more the kid could die) and them wanting the kids not to die.

  87. Donna February 3, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    “‘The #1 cause of childhood deaths is preventable accidents.’ That’s not blaming anyone. It’s uncomfortable and heart wrenching but true.”

    But, as we said earlier, it ISN’T true. The #1 cause of death of children over 1 is UNINTENTIONAL injuries. “Unintentional” does not actually mean the same thing as “preventable.”

    But I guess it is true that in a perfect world every unintentional injury would also be preventable. But that belief assumes that:
    (a) Perfection is possible;
    (b) A parent, particularly a mother, can personally prevent every accident her child may have; and
    (c) Accident prevention should be the utmost priority.

    THIS thinking is exactly what has gotten society to where it is today. Kids can’t climb trees because falling out of a tree is a preventable (as opposed to simply being unintentional) injury that, therefore, MUST be prevented at all costs and the only way that the parent can prevent this injury is to not allow the child to climb trees.

  88. Warren February 3, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    Natalie and others,

    For one thing preventable accidents is not the top killer of kids. You will not find that anywhere other than in insurance company’s databases. Why? Because the moment you put the word “preventable” in there blame is assigned. With blame goes liability. Liability for a death or injury is the only concern for an insurance company.

    Nationwide can spin doctor it anyway they want, but it comes down to dollars, nothing more, nothing less. Do you honestly think the executive officers of Nationwide sit there thinking about how to keep you from losing your son or daughter? Or are they thinking of ways to “prevent” policy claims to improve their profit/loss statements?

  89. BL February 3, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    @Donna
    “THIS thinking is exactly what has gotten society to where it is today. Kids can’t climb trees because falling out of a tree is a preventable ”

    I climbed trees as a youngster. I never fell out of one, but I injured myself on bicycles to the extent of a broken wrist and a knocked-out tooth.

    I still ride bicycles.

    What if something worse had happened? I hope I’d have as much perspective as this fellow, who was paralyzed in a high-school football game and has never tried to dissuade anyone from playing. In fact, I’ve heard (this is in my area) that he attends high school games in his wheelchair:

    http://www.kenlantzy.org/about-ken-lantzy/

  90. Dhewco February 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    But hey, “Nationwide is on your side…”

    LOL.

  91. Amanda Matthews February 4, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    The TV thing doesn’t even make sense – kids aren’t being killed by flat screens, a few toddlers have been killed by OLD, HEAVY, not-flat-screen tvs.

    Flat screens are lighter than my backpack was in highschool! And I know this for a fact because I use to carry flat screens around at conventions. If unanchored flatscreens are dangerous, then bookshelves with their unanchored books are deathtraps.

    Also, that kid was big enough to not be killed by any of those things.

    “if you suffer a seizure and your child drowns- no one is going to blame you for that. However if you go to answer the phone or check pinterest and your baby drowns, yes, that is your fault. Notice they said “preventable” accidents. We can’t prevent having a seizure out of nowhere.”

    But would you be blamed if you forgot to take your seizure medication and suffered a seizure while bathing your baby? What if you didn’t remind your teen to take his seizure medication and he had a seizure while taking a bath and drowned?

    “And I have bars on the window… that the 4 year old probably could remove if he wanted, but he won’t accidentally get knocked out by his brothers wrestling or whatnot.”

    So you’re sure the 4 year old could quickly get the bars off if there was a fire? Or are you making things more dangerous to prevent something which is pretty much impossible outside of a sitcom?

  92. Sigh February 5, 2015 at 4:32 am #

    Okay, let’s look at it this way:

    When you cross the road, you look both ways, right? Pretty much everyone over the age of …uhh….6-8… knows this, right?

    Scenario A: You cross the road properly. You follow the green cross code. (stop, look, listen, think, cross, arrive alive) and an inattentive (drunk/speeding/texting/whatever) driver plows out of nowhere and runs you down. That’s the driver’s fault.

    Scenario B: A safe driver is driving along and you decide that you’ll just run straight across. They’re paying attention but you just darted out because you saw your friend across the street. If you get hurt? That’s on you for crossing the road stupidly.

    Scenario C: An inattentive driver (drunk/speeding/texting) whatever from Scenario A meets the idiot pedestrian from Scenario B. Guess what? They’re both idiots and if there’s a problem, it’s both their faults.

    Scenario D: A safe pedestrian and a safe driver are walking along. If there’s a sudden natural disaster between the two which obscures vision…that is a tragic accident. It can’t be accounted for. It’s not anybody’s fault.

  93. Jen G. February 5, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    As an insurance ad, it’s terrible. As an ad about drunk driving, it would be awesome.

  94. Julie February 6, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    I thought the following blog post was a reasonable summation of the issues presented in the Nationwide commercial:
    http://looslifamily.blogspot.ca/2015/02/keeping-kids-safe-in-sane-way.html