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.
So Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is all over the social news today because wife, Kristin Cavallari, lit him up on Instagram for not being able to handle the rigors of parenthood.
Cutler was alone with his two sons (a 2 year old and an 8 month old) for some period of time while Cavallari was out of town, and as she announced her arrival (“the eagle has landed”), she faced a barrage of panic (that you can see above), ending in “I’m about to leave”. And hey, it might have been a joke, who knows.
But all I’m here to say – to you dear readers, and to Jay Cutler – is: I get 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.
So today, the internet’s ablaze from one dad’s video of his son’s “football trainin'” – making the young boy run next to his truck as he curses at him.
Among dads, the sentiment seems to be that this guy’s despicable and makes good dads look better. But looking at comments on Reddit and WorldStarHipHop, commenters range from horror to hilarity. “Come on people,” said one Reddit user. “This isn’t bad parenting, it’s a guy messing around with his kid, having him run for what… a tenth of a mile at the most? If you think that’s bad parenting you must have had a pretty sheltered childhood.”
It’s not a rare thing to see athletes father-up and put family ahead of their careers. But some athletes are also having very private battles in very public arenas concerning their kids. This is the intersection of dad and athlete: where work-life balance is always in the spotlight.
Recently, there have been a lot of interesting sports stories including the likes of golfer Hunter Mahan, the NBA’s Dwayne Wade, the MLB’s Joe Mauer and the NFL’s Adrian Peterson – and, of course many more than we could cover.
Who’s taking official paternity leave? Who’s banned from saying anything about their ex on Twitter? Who left a tournament to be with their wife during labor?
Former NFL linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis, headlined the No More Excuses Men’s Conference over the weekend. The conference was held in Dallas, Texas and put on by the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.
Lewis grew up without a father and told the audience about the importance of fathers teaching their sons how to be men. “I don’t care how good a mom is,” Lewis was quoted in The Huffington Post as saying, “how awesome she is, how spiritual she is. She can never teach a man to be a man.”
The Super Bowl, widely regarded as a yearly who’s-who of commercials, proved once again that fathers have a couple of things to piss and moan about in the “dadvertising” world, but that little-by-little, dads are being imagined better. This year, we saw seven major commercials featuring a father in a main role. The result shows an across-the-spectrum image of fathers. This, actually, is a win for dads, believe it or not.
Here, we’ll take a look at the commercials with an honest approach, attempting to let slide what truly doesn’t matter, and getting worked up over all of the right things.