More often than not dads in TV advertisements are portrayed as knuckleheads, jocks or ‘dumb-dad.’ The ‘dumb-dad’ is the generic dimwit father that buys a falcon with the money he saves by switching insurance companies. Every dad on television doesn’t need to be a scholar who can cook and operate a chainsaw. However, it is nice to see the dad who is shown in an intelligent or humorous way, without being demeaning.
The latest commercial from Tide is a good example of how to treat a stay-at-home dad. For the record, Tide didn’t contact me to write about this spot. I just saw the spot on TV and loved how it portrayed a SAHD.
“It’s classic problem solving”, the dad says early in the spot. My wife has often told me that sometimes it’s tough to talk to me (or men) because we just want results and are action oriented. We don’t want to talk about the issue, just tell us what it is and it will either be fixed or ignored. Being a stay-at-home parent is problem solving, albeit with lots of patience and a little psychology.
It’s funny and real
At :14 the dad says, “see this thing here.” I’m a stay-at-home dad and I say that every time I do the laundry. I don’t know what to call some of the things that I wash, I just know that if there’s a stain on it my wife will see it and ask for it to be washed again.
The girl at the end of the spot asks dad a question that most of us wouldn’t know how to handle. The dad takes the style of hair braiding one step further by asking if she wants a herringbone or fishtail French braid. When she says herringbone, he goes even further and compliments her by saying “good call.” Go Dad.
Its playful nature is enjoyable and very easy to watch. Some people will watch it and think to themselves that they know a SAHD like that; while others will think that such a dad can only live on television.
Whatever your thoughts on this Tide spot it’s certainly more respectful than the Ragu debacle that C.C. Chapman experienced. Including a dad or SAHD in an advertising campaign doesn’t guarantee success. As a SAHD, we are a market, but we don’t need to be wined and dined, just don’t speak down to us all the time. The simple steps, like reaching out to stay-at-home parents, vs. specifically reaching out to the stay-at-home moms is one thing to do.
What other commercials have treated stay-at-home dads with respect?