Campaign does away with the bumbling dad - Tribal Worldwide Toronto ad has its fans, but not everyone loves #HowToDad.
Campaign does away with the bumbling dad
Tribal Worldwide Toronto ad has its fans, but not everyone loves #HowToDad.
Is the end nigh for the bumbling TV dad?
A new online commercial for Peanut Butter Cheerios has joined adland’s trend away from its longheld stereotype of the inept father.
This Cheerios dad is depicted as a hipster Superman, conquering the morning dash while spitting aphorisms like rap lyrics — “Being awesome isn’t about breaking the rules. It’s about making them” — and flirting with mom while serving her coffee.
“We never say no to dress-up,” the character proclaims. “We build the best forts. We do work-work and we do homework. We lead by example. We blow their minds.”
With an anthemic vibe and using dad as a verb, the digital ad, created by Tribal Worldwide Toronto, is gaining traction on father-focused blogs and websites, as is its #HowToDad tagline.
“Forever and especially over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a lot of emphasis on ‘Thank you mom’ and all that mom has done, and really and honestly dad plays an important role in the household as well, so it’s great to see brands taking note of that,” says Toronto father Bobby Sahni, a partner at Ethnicity Multicultural Marketing + Advertising.
This year has seen a string of ads from brands such as Dove and Tide highlighting dads as nurturers.
Advertising is just catching up with cultural changes, said Western Michigan University marketing professor Robert L. Harrison, who has studied single-father households.
“Most of what I like (in the Cheerios video) is it promotes a different type of masculinity; he’s still playful, and that’s the major role you see of fathers in ads, but he’s doing things within the household,” said Harrison, noting men are typically shown as aloof and only concerned with outdoor pursuits.
The ad hasn’t won everyone over, however. While Toronto parenting author and mother of four Kathy Buckworth appreciates the attempt at realism, she initially wondered whether the Cheerios promotion and its uber awesome dad was a parody.
“I think its overkill,” she said, citing its approach of “ ‘We’re going to try to correct every single ad that portrayed dads as idiots before us and ram it down your throat.’ I think it’s almost daring moms to be offended. Even if we don’t like the ad for any number of reasons, for example, dads do not tell hilarious jokes all of the time, we’re going to come across as this hard-core feminist mom.”