Preventable Losses: Your Kids May Die Any Moment So Quick Buy Our Insurance and Then You'll Feel Better!

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Man, Nationwide. Looks like the Seahawks weren't the only maladroit losers at the Super Bowl. In a brutal bummer ad now being mercilessly mocked, a cute kid tells us he'll never get to ride a bike or kiss a girl or grow up 'cause, see, he's dead, drowned in a tub or crushed by a TV or otherwise obliterated by one of life's senseless, countless cruelties - which, shockingly, failed to include guns, or for that matter even football - that their hapless grieving parents should have anticipated by, yes, buying insurance so they wouldn't have to experience that “preventable” loss. The ad linked to a broader Make Safe Happen campaign, which stresses that "preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America" and offers a website listing 487,520 dangers facing our children - fire, poison, burns, choking, strangulation, drowning in pools, falling out of windows, getting run over by heedless parents' cars (never mind loaded guns, climate change, nuclear annihilation and idiots who oppose vaccinations) -  and what, if anything, one might do about it so they won't have to pay out vast sums from their revenues for your stupidity.

The ad sparked more than its share of harsh hashtags and rude responses charging it was tasteless, ill-placed, dishonest and cynical, particularly given that it was doubtless seen by thousands of parents who had in fact lost children through no fault of their own. Others noted it was hardly helpful to try and scare the pants out of already paranoid parents raising kids in a culture that regularly declares the dangers of dirt, germs, swings, bikes and leaving your kid to play alone in a park, with a cell phone for possible emergencies - which just saw a mother arrested for "unlawful conduct towards a child.” Responding to the uproar, Nationwide issued a statement seeking to explain their decision to "grab viewers by the scruff of the neck...While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere." The ad's "sole purpose," they stressed, "was to start a conversation, not sell insurance." Because to manipulate parents' natural, deep-seated terror of anything bad happening to their children in the tawdry name of profit would just be crass, right?

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