Damon and co. scored for Nationwide – but was this one the biggest Super Bowl howler ever?

Lots of the Twitterati and others think so anyway. Nationwide Insurance’s second Super Bowl ad featuring the death of a child appears to have upset a few million Americans.

Here’s what Nationwide says:

“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. 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. We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions. In fact, thousands of people visited, a new website to help educate parents and caregivers with information and resources in an effort to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death. Nationwide has been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.”

Hmm. Well you pays your money and takes your choice, I suppose.

Memo to companies everywhere: sometimes it’s better to sell stuff than ‘start conversations.’

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