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.
Good dadvertising includes fathers in their natural roles without the brand explicitly pointing out that you’re watching a dad that is made better by the advertised product. That’s why the Dove Men+Care “Real Moments” campaign has been a great tent pole in the circus of NCAA March Madness beer advertising.
Starring NBA all-star Dwayne Wade and ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, the commercials show day-to-day moments of parenthood, told by these two dads.
As the ominous clouds of Hurricane Sandy moved toward the Eastern Seaboard last weekend, a group of men – myself included – gathered at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to talk about fatherhood. Arranged by the Dad 2.0 Summit, Dove Men+Care and Edelman Digital, the event featured former quarterback Doug Flutie and aimed to open a unique discussion about fatherhood.
This “Play-By-Play on Fatherhood” was meant as a way for the average dad to see that a guy like Doug Flutie – a famous football player – was also just an average dad. It was understood, at least by me, that there was to be tears and hugs. Only really because I’m a cryer and a hugger.
But then something else happened.
Dove Men+Care is hosting an event in about an hour that will delve into the inner-workings of fatherhood. Co-hosted by the Dad 2.0 Summit guys, this event features NFL legend Doug Flutie, and many dad bloggers will be in attendance (including me).
You’ll also be able to watch this event live on Facebook at 7am PST / 10am EST.