Dadvertising 101

November 15, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, THINGS DAD DIGS

I’ve seen a couple of dad-centric ads lately that made me smile. Not just because they were funny, but because they depicted dads being good parents without a hint of irony. Okay, maybe there’s a hint of it — but they definitely aren’t depicted as not knowing their way around the kitchen, running screaming from a diaper, or some other modern father stereotype. Instead they show warmth, competence, and that these guys actually enjoy being dads.

The first is a Tide commercial I saw the other night, and just loved the interaction between the father and his little girl. Very matter-of-fact, no OMG-The-Dude-is-doing-a-girl’s-hair sound effects. Just father/daughter awesomeness.

A longer version takes a slightly different direction, using the phrase “Dad Mom.” (I guess Mr. Mom is trademarked?) I didn’t like it as much as the first one, as it veered closer into the “Why is a man doing a woman’s job?” territory. But still sweet overall in its tone.

And finally, I spotted this print ad in Entertainment Weekly, from the normally über-macho Chunky Soup folks. In the past Chunky has tiptoed to the sensitive side by showing NFL players with their moms in spots I found both goofy and unable to relate to. But this ad — while still quietly touting their NFL connection — shows a “real” man: playing with his kids, letting down his guard, being there for them.

Thanks Tide and Chunky, for busting out of the stereotypes — keep up the good work!

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6 responses to “Dadvertising 101”

  1. Steve says:

    I liked that the first version of the Tide ad didn’t make any reference to a mom, so the dad could have been a single dad, or part of a gay couple.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Oh – this is one of my biggest pet peeves! I hate the stupid dad commercials. Dads are heroes!

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      Someday I’d like to write about how Dad’s (at least portrayed in entertainment and advertising) evolved from being pillars of stability and wisdom (Ward Cleaver, Mike Brady, Howard Cunningham) to goofy and inept, cowering under the glare of their smug, bitchy wives (Cliff Huxtable, Raymond Barone, Tim Taylor). Not sure where to put Archie Bunker in that list, though. 🙂

      • Stephanie says:

        I would be happy to help with that – soon as I’m done with school! I feel bad for dads today – they’re living with these horrible stereotypes and it’s frustrating.

  3. Ha, I loved these. To be fair, though, staying home with a 4yo boy and an almost 2yo girl, I still don’t know what to do with dresses. I look at dresses like my father looks at a washing machine (“I don’t know what this thing is, I don’t know how to operate it, and thank God someone in this house does”). Eventually I’ll have to learn to deal with dresses and tights and all the other girly stuff. Or I’ll just continue dressing my girl with her older brother’s hand-me-downs…

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