Inevitably, brands hone in on men come Super Bowl time. Fathers have always found their way into the commercials, but the imagery is evolving. Some brands are banking on the image of emotional, loving fathers in their ads to boost their brands. Are we finally admitting that it’s good to be an emotional, loving, caring father? I hope so.
Three brands in particular are investing heavily in dads leading up to The Big Game: Toyota, Nissan and Dove Men+Care. Their father-centric commercials are wonderful reminders that fathers matter and are worth the hefty pricetag for a Super Bowl spot.
General Mills Canada knocked one out of the park with their commercial for Peanut Butter Cheerios that started airing this week.
In the commercial titled “#HowToDad” by Toronto agency Tribal Worldwide, we see a dad. Owning it. Hard. Hashtag. Et cetera.
Lowe’s wants you to know that if mom wants to go out and buy stuff for the home while dad’s at home playing with the kids, that’s totally cool. And the result, not-surprisingly, is that it’s totally cool. But then Lowe’s also wants you to know that if mom is on a business trip and dad’s home with the kids for longer than an afternoon, well…hold onto your pantsuits.
All three spots are by BBDO, which was also responsible for a couple of dadcentric commercials this year, including a good one for AT&T, starring paralympian Heath Calhoun, and a less-good one for Embassy Suites. This makes BBDO an agency to watch in the fatherhood market; they get it. Even if BBDO isn’t hitting the bullseye every time, they’re aiming for the target.
What happens when an online card vendor wants to “win” the Mother’s Day season? They create a viral video. And that’s just what American Greetings (for Cardstore.com) did with the help of ad agency Mullen. And if your vagina doesn’t tremble with love and happiness after seeing this video, then you’re probably not human. Or something.
The video, “World’s Toughest Job” is a well-meaning stunt meant to make people think about how much mothers do for their families. But it all comes off as martyr-mom falsehoods that insult more people than it compliments, including moms.
Three brands have included gay fathers in their television commercials in 2014 – one of which appeared in during February’s Super Bowl and the other later during the Sochi Winter Olympics. The third, a commercial for Honey Maid graham crackers, came out of the (dot dot dot) gates (whew!) this week and began airing nationally.
The spot, titled “This Is Wholesome”, shows families often left out of commercials – a punk dad, interracial parents and a gay dads.
We’ve seen interracial families emerging in commercials recently in spots by Cheerios and Swiffer, but are gay dads the hot new thing in 2014? Are brands breaking new ground with their gay-friendly advertising? Or is this just the first time we’re really looking for it?
It’s possible that the tears welling up in my eyes during Super Bowl XLVIII’s commercial breaks were from someone cutting onions for game day guacamole. But I think – just maybe – a couple of tear-jerking moments came from dads in commercials.
At a rate of $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, brands had the blink of an eye to impact their captive audience. How’d they fare?
By my watch, the good outweighed the bad.
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.