“I don’t tend to get upset when I see a product focus only on moms in a commercial,” Ask Your Dad Blog‘s John Kinnear told me when I came knocking for insight into dad commercials. “I work in marketing, so I understand the idea behind targeting certain demographics. The problem is making sure you’re aiming at the right target(s), and not failing by omission. I’m not going to stop buying a product just because they only market to moms, but I’m naturally inclined to purchase one that includes all types of parents. Including smart, adept, involved dads can only help.”
Coincidentally, J.M Smucker’s Jif commercials appeared twice on my list and both earned solid scores of 4. A great image of fatherhood, but – dang – they’re never going to live that dad-omitting motto down.
I really do feel for the guys that make commercials (don’t tell ’em I said that though). My scores (which you’ll be able to see in their entirety below) are qualitative. Basically, whatever I felt at the moment, I scored. Some commercials got different scores later when I rewatched them. That’s what’s tough about a project like this. And that’s why in future iterations of this project, I’m enlisting the help of others so that I can have more of a consensus of “good” and “bad”.
I know, I know. You came here for blood. Me too! In previous years, this project would have been a slam dunk. Without a doubt, dads have looked far worse in commercials in years leading up to 2013. But hey, maybe I was soft. Maybe I missed something. That’s why you should watch these commercials and rate them yourself. See if I’m crazy. Are they worse than I rated them? Click the pic below to view the PDF and rate the commercials yourself!
Doug French gave me a glimmer of hope moving forward: “I think we’re seeing a lot fewer dads portrayed as the extra child in the family. And if we’re trying to help our kids embrace a more enlightened idea of masculinity and fatherhood, every bit helps.”
Thanks to all that helped me with this project, including those who offered quotes. And a big thanks to iSpot.tv for their growing database of commercials. Stay tuned next year for an analysis of 2014’s commercials, scored with the help of a wider panel of judges!