Over a hundred million people tuned into the Super Bowl for the most highly anticipated commercials of the year, but it wasn't the usual Budweiser that set off a firestorm on social media -- it was an insurance company.
In between puppies and lots of dads -- and, also, the showdown between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks -- Nationwide Insurance put out two controversial commercials that both became trending topics on Twitter with over 22,000 tweets.
"Make Safe Happen" begins with a young boy talking about the things he won't be able to do in life, including travel, get married or ride a bike. It seems harmless and cute, until the ad quickly takes a depressing turn when it reveals that the boy died and that he'll never actually get to do those things. The commercial then shows an overflowing bathtub with a caption: "The #1 cause of childhood deaths is preventable accidents. At Nationwide, we believe in protecting what matters most, your kids. Together we can #MakeSafeHappen." It caused an instant buzzkill and the Twitter handle Nationwide Kills was promptly created.
Actress Mindy Kaling starred in another Nationwide commercial called "Invisible Mindy Kaling," in which she wonders if Indian-American women are actually invisible. "After years of being treated like she was invisible, it occurred to Mindy Kaling she might actually be invisible," the narrator says in the ad. Kaling eats a tub of ice cream or cotton candy or cotton candy ice cream through a grocery story, strolls through a working car wash and frolics around freely until actor Matt Damon calls her out for invading his personal space at a restaurant. She then realizes she actually isn't invisible.