According to a recent study in the United Kingdom, over half of dads will fake sleep so that they don’t have to get up in the middle of the night for kid duty.
Trigger warning for those parents who love sleep and/or their partners, obvi.
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.
After engaging with fathers and pledging to care for the other half of the parenting equation, Huggies continues to push their “Huggies Mommy Answers” with largely-good commercials, but the same narrow, single-minded mom focus.
Dads, do you have questions about raising your kids? Where do you go? Who do you ask? Unfortunately, you’re not in Huggies’ demographic, so it’s not their problem. Go ask a buddy.
Remember the Great Huggies Dad-Diss of 2012? You know, the one where Huggies hired a team of awesome commercial-maker-types and created a series of commercials that reduced fathers to rubble? One portrayed a bunch of normal-looking, loving fathers with their babies, all lined up in a room, with the following smug female voiceover:
“To prove Huggies diapers can handle anything, we put them to the ultimate test: dads…alone with their babies…at naptime…after a very full feeding.” Blah blah blah, then “grab a dad and see for yourself…” blah blah blah.