Consumer goods monolith Procter & Gamble gave some dads a rash in 2012 when they lathered the London Olympics in commercials thanking moms (and moms only) for their Olympic-level dedication to their kids. And for the Sochi Olympics, P&G’s ad wizards are massaging mom once again with their “Pick Them Back Up” commercial, an ode to the undying ability that moms have to, well, pick their little future athletes back up when they fall.
It would seem that the P&G machine has taken direction straight from their shampoo: Apply commercials to moms. Rinse, repeat.
Amidst the moms campaign hubbub, Procter & Gamble put out what the kids these days are calling a “short film” about Olympian Ryan Suter and his father, Bob Suter, who you might remember as one of them “Miracle on Ice” guys from the 1980 Olympic team. The 3-and-change-minute video, titled “Raising An Olympian: Ryan Suter” is a wonderful tribute to a son and father’s mutual love. And hey, Ryan even mentions Bob picking him back up in the video, so the consistent branding is like, already there, dude.
But is there a catch? Spoiler alert: yes.
Thought you’d be interested in this bit of info: This Spring, an animated movie will round out the story of Batman and his son, Damian. Oh, did you not know that Batman is a father? Damian never showed up in the theatrical Batman franchise, so we don’t blame you.
Titled Son of Batman, it is a Warner Bros. Animation and DC Universe Animated Original Movie (quote-unquote) starring Jason O’Mara as Batman. O’Mara also voices the Dark Knight in another animated movie out now-ish, Justice League: War.
Son of Batman follows the story of Damian Wayne, inspired by the 2006 story arc from the graphic novel Batman and Son. And if you thought Batman had family issues before…get ready for something different.
Inevitably, we all find something to share with our kids. Right? I mean, we don’t just put our kids out on the street as babies and say “well kid, go find some interests.” For some dads, they share sports. For others, it’s video games. For others, it’s comics. Art. Movies. Working on cars. Fishing. You get the idea.
For Brent Almond, his love of superheroes and art created a – dare I say – adorbz habit of drawing “super lunch notes” for his son.
I’ve been calling out dad-bias in commercials for years now, and really wanted to put the nail in the coffin. So I watched, noted and rated 140 commercials in 2013 that featured fathers as main characters. And if I was looking for a fight…man, I couldn’t have done it at a worse time. There, I said it.
A popular conversation among dad bloggers is the treatment of fathers in the media, specifically, dads in commercials. Dad bloggers often sit around in their secret online societies and discuss exactly how bad dads look in commercials. Most of the time, you’ll hear a resounding “fathers are made to look like idiots!” And being a guy who’s flamed many a brand that poked fun at dads (and also congratulated a couple), I wanted to really commit time and effort into seeing exactly how many commercials I could find that treated dads poorly. I really wanted to hold up my list of commercials to the world and say “SEE?! Look at how commercials treat dads! We should riot!”
And then my results actually surprised me.
There’s been a lot of superhero dad action as of late.
There’s this solider who came home to surprise his son dressed as Spider-Man, the always fun-loving BatDad, Lambo BatDad pulled over on the way to a children’s hospital, YABD (yet another BatDad) with BatKid who saved San Francisco that one time, this TrollDad who stood outside on his doorstep every morning for a year waving to his son’s bus, and the ever so popular I know a good dad when I see one dad.
Now, those are just a few of the dads out there that are sharing some superhero awesomeness with their kids. So what could possibly tingle our Spidey-Sense again?