Sure, there’s a “Big Game” on, but a lot of people just watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. And as I recently mentioned, Toyota, Nissan and Dove Men+Care have crafted spots about fathers. But why?
You might think – why fathers? Why now? But brands and agencies are keen to one simple fact: dad is a consumer.
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.
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.
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.