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Nationwide Super Bowl ad draws criticism, ridicule on social media

The biggest downer of the Super Bowl (unless you're a Seattle Seahawks fan) had to be the Nationwide insurance commercial that aired during the first half of the game.

In the advertisement, a young boy expresses regret over not being able to enjoy some of the great moments in life because, as he puts it bluntly toward the end of the commercial: "I couldn't grow up because I died from an accident."

The commercial then pans to a bathtub full of water with an overlayed message stating, "The number one cause of childhood deaths is preventable accidents."

The ad immediately drew criticism on Twitter, provoking Nationwide to defend the commercial in a statement issued after its airing:

"Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. Most people don't know that. Nationwide ran an ad during the Super Bowl that started a fierce conversation. The sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance. We want to build awareness of an issue that is near and dear to all of us -- the safety and well being of our children. We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions. In fact, thousands of people visited MakeSafeHappen.com, a new website to help educate parents and caregivers with information and resources in an effort to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death. Nationwide has been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere."

Still, Nationwide's response hasn't done much to stop the ad from being ridiculed on social media:

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