Retail megachain Target saw the changing landscape of parenting, and will now be featuring more fathers in their baby ads. With the help of ad agency Wieden & Kennedy, Target will be serving up a slice of dad-and-baby in print and digital form, starting in February 2011.
This is a big move from the ads of yesteryear, where the “typical” white, married mother is portrayed just as she was in the 50’s, but without the June Cleaver housewife dress. Over the years, women started wearing pants in advertisements (to signify a working mother), but that’s just about as far as the ad world has taken women. Very few men are featured in ads for baby products – and if they are, it’s generally alongside of a wife that’s saving the day with the advertised product.
It will be interesting to see if they portray fathers as the same “normal” and nurturing parents as they have mothers, or as a know-nothing dumb-ass that Target can then teach to be a good parent through their products. The belittlement to a father’s intelligence and parenting skills cater to the idea that the mother is the master of the home and the father is just another helpless child in the home for the mother to take care of. Yes, I just ended that sentence with a preposition.
Keep an eye out for the Target ads, and let’s see how us dads are addressed as capable and loving parents.
Sauce: Advertising Age