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Alec Baldwin

The 'shut up and watch' standard: Super Bowl advertisers are judged as much as the players

The 'shut up and watch' standard: Super Bowl advertisers are judged as much as the players

Who was the least valuable player in last year's Super Bowl? Viewers might say it was the tousle-haired young boy in the Nationwide Insurance spot, talking about all the cool things he missed because he was killed in a household accident.

Headline writers dubbed it the “Dead Kid” commercial. Social media buzzed with outrage. The company was forced to issue a statement explaining it didn't mean to upset anyone. Nationwide's chief marketing officer soon left his job.

Such are the risks of running a commercial in the biggest annual television event. But the advertisers who are paying close to $5 million for a 30-second spot to be a...

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