The well-intended commercial showed a young boy riding a school bus and lamenting that he'll never learn to fly, or travel the world with his best friend, or even grow up, because he died in an accident. The ad was aimed at stopping preventable childhood accidents.
"At Nationwide, we believe in protecting what matters most, your kids. Together we can make safe happen," a voiceover said.
The reaction on social media was swift.
"These Super Bowl commercials are ruining my mood." - Debbie Downer— Drew Bledsoe (@DrewBledsoe) February 2, 2015
More like nationcried— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) February 2, 2015
The Seahawks haven't completed a pass but on the plus side I haven't killed any of my kids. #Nationwide— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) February 2, 2015
In their next ad, Nationwide is going to shoot the Budweiser dog.— Patrick Burke (@BurkieYCP) February 2, 2015
HI WE'RE NATIONWIDE BUY OUR INSURANCE OR YOUR KIDS WILL DIE— Fake Bo Pelini (@FauxPelini) February 2, 2015
No, you're not going to ever travel the world. Why? Because a TV fell on you. Thanks, Nationwide.— Brett Petersel (@Brett) February 2, 2015
And now my nine year old thinks he is gonna die because he can't ride a bike. Thank you nationwide.— crse (@crse) February 2, 2015
Nationwide: We're not saying your kid is gonna die, but you better buy our insurance— Matt Roller (@rolldiggity) February 2, 2015
My 10 yo daughter: "I don't think Nationwide is on my side"— Nole Chick (@nolechick94) February 2, 2015
Advertising Exec: "All the best Super Bowl commercials are light, smart, and funny." Nationwide: "Let's go with dead children."— Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) February 2, 2015