Super Bowl 2015 made me weep. Not because the Seahawks had the worst final play of the year. Because, Nationwide’s “Make Safe Happen” campaign scared the crap out of me, sending me running all over my employers’ house checking for small bodies in overflowing bathtubs, behind cars, under sinks and on the cement beneath two story windows.
As a nanny, I get that Nationwide wants guardians, parents and any responsible adult to think about the dangers in their own homes. But, really? During Super Bowl XLIX? When I’m about to watch Katy Perry roar all over the 50 yard line?
I’ll be the first to admit the efficacy of Nationwide’s commercials. Wow! I stayed up half the night recovering from the thought that I might someday be responsible for killing a little boy or girl, because I failed to put the lid back on the bleach. So, yes, it was effective… at making my throat catch, my emotions do a little flip flop between quarters and my star-at-halftime dreams turn into nightmares.
Commercials with woeful tunes in the background are always grounds for suspicion. Think of Hallmark or the Sarah McLachlan ASPCA ads. If you haven’t considered buying your sibling or parent a card or picking up a dog for them by the end of the 60 second spot, then your heart is harder than my mom’s granite countertop. Needless, to say, when they start to play, the TV goes on mute or I try to make the moment a little bit lighter by singing with Sarah to the tune of Old McDonald.
If parents worldwide didn’t spend an extra ten minutes tucking their kids in while spouses put childproof locks on cabinets and inserted bigger overflow gaskets, then Nationwide spent a million dollars too many on their safety campaign.