By Dennis Culloton, President and CEO
If you were looking for the sign of the decay of civilization, consider the Internet and the haters and the dead Nationwide commercial kid.
#Harshedyourvibe! Just another week in the internet, as noted by Wired magazine .
Okay, so don’t really consider it. Technology has unleashed opportunity, a global village, innovation, discovery and cyberterrorists. It can be your friend; it can be your enemy. And it can liven up the Super Bowl.
Without the Internet, we wouldn’t have random twitter dudes getting upset about the Proctor & Gamble #likeagirl campaign because it,–not making this up now–discriminates against guys. Without the net, we wouldn’t have Gawker teaching us how to really hate by taking down the #makeithappy campaign of Coca Cola by–also not making this up–using Hitler. And without the worldwide web we wouldn’t be able to collectively support each other in overcoming the emotional turmoil of Nationwide kid. (Thanks to Funny or Die for helping us cope.)
I’ll give credit to the Nationwide PR team. They tried to control damage from their ad featuring a dead child by saying the goal of the ad was to start a conversation about childhood safety. We don’t buy it, but at least they tried. Whoever came up with that ad should be forced to watch it over and over again.
At least the Nationwide kid didn’t live long enough to see the well-intentioned Super Bowl ads that attempted to uplift us while encouraging us to buy consumer goods devolve into a social media Super Bowl of hate. For marketers, can you come up with a bullet-proof, feel good, Pharrell Williams Happy ad campaign that can’t be twisted by some dark, dark individuals with a smart phone? #makeithappy. Stat!