Nationwide's morbid ad narrated by a dead child generated enormous and immediate backlash during the Big Game, so much so that the company issued a statement explaining why it wanted to air the depressing spot.
"Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America," the company said in a statement. "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 wellbeing of our children. We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions."
The company added that thousands of people visited its new website, MakeSafeHappen.com, which is meant to educate parents and caregivers on how to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death.
"While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere," the company said.
Nationwide officials could not be reached for further comment.