The morning after Super Bowl XLIX, I wrote the “Defense of Nationwide” following the insurance brand’s instantly infamous ad on child safety. My viewpoint was clearly in the minority as initial sentiment toward Nationwide tilted strongly toward the negative with many – first via social media, and then through traditional outlets – suggesting that there simply was no place for an ad about a dead child during the Super Bowl extravaganza.
Within a few days of the game, however, that tide began to turn when a number of physician, parent and consumer safety groups came out in favor of the ad and its message.
Now, almost two weeks later, we are seeing even more data suggesting that the ad was actually successful.
In addition to being one of the few Super Bowl ads still being talked about, #MakeSafeHappen outperformed:
• Kim Kardashian’s T-Mobile Ad on Facebook (Love or loathe her, Kardashian herself is one of the biggest brands out there today)
• BMW’s i3 Ad on YouTube (This Katie Couric/Bryant Gumbel feature was heavily promoted during the week prior to the game)
• Budweiser’s “Brewed the Hard Way” on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (This ad even generated response ads from rivals and sparked a brewery war)
• Fiat’s “The Blue Pill” on Twitter (One of the highest-rated ads of the game)
Now, it’s important to remember that a marketing advertisement, much like a logo, doesn’t define a brand. Brands are bigger than that.
So, with that in mind, what is the current brand opportunity for Nationwide?
Well, the insurance company now has the chance to demonstrate #MakeSafeHappen was not just an intervention – but also an ongoing effort to address a serious problem.
Through Nationwide Children’s Hospital (America’s third largest pediatric hospital and research center), the company is uniquely positioned to continue the conversation. But the question is, will they?
And only Nationwide can answer that.