Sheri and I met up at a friend’s home in Carrollton Sunday night to watch the Super Bowl. It was an enjoyable time with good food, great conversation, and one of the best games I’ve seen in a long time. Throw in the commercials for some laughter and it was a great time with everyone staying until the clock ran out.
What I found disturbing was the ad by Nationwide Insurance. Did you see it? No one in our group said a thing. Twitter blew up as people vented their reactions. The morning news shows discussed or lampooned it. Bloggers have written about it, and Nationwide has attempted to explain it.
If you missed the ad, it shows a boy talking about the things he won’t be able to do (ride a bike, get cooties from a girl’s kiss, learn to fly, or travel the world with his dog) because he died from an accident. The ad then goes on to show three common causes of accidental deaths for kids (drowning in an unattended tub, household cleaners, and tip overs of flat screen TVs). It’s a very somber and troubling ad because the initial narrator is a child speaking to us from the grave.
My first impression of it was it is a lousy way to sell life insurance, putting it in the category of, “If you love your family, you’ll buy this policy.” But after watching it a dozen times my thoughts are changing. There’s no mention of life insurance anywhere in the ad, only an invitation to visit their website, www.makesafehappen.com.
I have visited the site, and it provides some excellent information with a ton of safety tips on how to prevent burns and scalds, avoiding swallowing small batteries, medicine safety, keeping stairs accident proof, proper car seat use, as well as preventing tip over accidents of heavy TVs and furniture. It breaks out tips specific to a child’s age, location in the home, and risk category. Even though I’m not a Nationwide agent, I believe there’s some worthwhile information for any parent.
Accidents are the leading cause of deaths for people between the ages 1 and 24. Many of these accidents are preventable. Nationwide hoped the ad would spur a conversation on making homes safe for our kids. Unfortunately, they got more “conversation” than they probably bargained for based on the past few days.
I don’t agree with how the message was conveyed, but I do believe in the message itself. As a dad, I remember child proofing our home with my sons’ mom before our first child arrived. As a grandparent, I’m doing it all over again because the loss of any child or grandchild is one of the most painful tragedies any parent or grandparent will experience. Share what you thought of the ad, their website, or any tips you may with us on our Google +, Facebook, or LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!