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Nationwide Shocks Viewers, Wins Men, and Loses Women
By: Cindy Wendland
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Nationwide Insurance ran two commercials during the Super Bowl. One was positive and one was negative. One commercial was favorable with women, and the other was favorable with men. Did they ruin the positive relations they built with the first commercial by airing the second?

Nationwide likes to make their customers feel that they matter, that they are important. Nationwide likes their customers to feel they can be seen. Women like that. The second commercial ran a different message. It was a shock-value commercial that showed the impact of a child dying. The women they won over with the first commercial were now alienated by the second.

If you didn’t see the commercial, it showed a full, running-over bathtub with the theme "Make Safe Happen." It showed an adorable boy and all the things he would miss in life because he wouldn’t get to experience them...because he died from an accident. This appealed to men and their caretaker instinct.

The shock value was so significant that many women gasped when they saw the commercial. It caused a catch in their hearts because it visually showed all the things mom fear for their children. We subconsciously think of those things and try to avoid them every day. It’s what causes us to wake up in panic, worrying. It’s not what we want to see during a fun event like the Super Bowl.

We understand different themes appeal to different people. Running two opposing theme commercials during one event was not a good idea. Women may now have a negative feeling toward Nationwide Insurance, and if they impact insurance buying, it was a poor move by Nationwide.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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