Super Bowl ads are supposed to leave an impression. After all, they cost $4.5 million for 30 seconds, $9 million for 1 minute and reach the largest audience of the year, so making one that sticks with viewers is important. However, the type of impression an ad leaves is just as important, if not more so, than leaving one in the first place. On that front, Nationwide Insurance may have made a super-fumble.
Nationwide ran an ad featuring a young boy talking about all the things in life he wasn’t going to get to do — ride a bike, get cooties — because he died in a “preventable accident.” Calling the ad a downer is an understatement. But it did leave an impression on the tens of millions of viewers who saw it. Unfortunately for Nationwide, that impression was incredibly negative.