Sunday, February 15, 2009

Note to Nationwide Insurance- Violence Isn't Funny

A man pulls into a parking space, scraping the parked car next to him. He quickly tells the white-haired old lady in the passenger seat of the other car "I'm really sorry, it was an accident, please forgive me..."

The old lady steps out of her car and begins to bludgeon the hapless young man with her handbag- "Forgiveness?' she yells. "I've got your forgiveness right here!" She continues to batter the young man with her bag, which may or may not contain bricks, until he falls to the pavement. Her white-haired husband cheers her on from the sidelines.

I suppose that inside the warped minds of the good people at Nationwide, this is amusing on some level: "Haha, check out the old woman with severe anger issues reacting to someone bumping her car by beating him half to death with her handbag! Oh the hilarity!" But come on- this kind of nonsense is about as fresh and relevant as Lucy burning the pot roast or Mrs. Lockhorn wrapping the family car around a tree (again.) In real life, if I were that young man, I would be on my cell phone within seconds dialing 911. I would stay on the scene, assuming I didn't need medical help, to be sure that this crazed lunatic was subdued and removed from the parking lot by police officers. And I would press charges.

Just imagine a moment that the roles are reversed- an old lady nicks up the car next to her, apologizes, and is greeted by a young man's heavy blows to her face and body, which knock her to the pavement. Funny, no? NO.

I recall that many years ago, there was some commercial for aftershave which featured a woman slapping a man across the face- HARD. I wondered at the time if a commercial featuring a man striking a woman would be allowed in a commercial, and I quickly concluded "no way." And for good reason- Violence. Isn't. Funny. The old lady in the Nationwide commercial needs therapy- therapy following a night in the local lock-up. The good people of the Nationwide Insurance Advertising Department also need therapy. Because if they think their commercial is funny, they are suffering from severe disconnect from the real world.

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