There are many stories floating around the Internet about how this year the Super Bowl advertising will focus on getting it right when it comes to dads. And so it should. With the majority of football watching public made up of males, advertising to dads would be a number one priority if I was going to be spending four-and-a-half million dollars on an advertising spot.
Back home in Australia, the advertisers and marketing companies are slow on the uptake when it comes to advertising family oriented and parenting products to dads.
There are still way too many advertisements for school snacks, school accessories, breakfast cereals, and medication that begin with one of these phrases;
“As a busy mum…”
“As a mother, I know what’s best for my children…”
I have written a few posts previously about the often sexist slogans or campaigns in advertising in Australia;
- The McCain’s “Mum’s Cut” oven fries and their response to my email I wrote about in my Would You Like Sexism With That? post,
- The “Good on ya Mum” jingle Tip Top Bread is still using all these years later (Is It Time For This Company To Change Their Advertising Slogan?),
- The recent “Where Mum Shops” slogan used by Big W I wrote about in the How Hard Is It To Be Inclusive Of Dads In Advertising And Questions About Parenting? post,
- And the three advertisements I mentioned in my very first post about Dads in Television Commercials, it seems that the advertisers in the country are forgetting that dads are parents too.
In that first post I wrote, I embedded a television commercial from the pain relief brand Nurofen where a bunch of mothers were sitting around in a park talking about giving children pain relief to their children. The tag-line of this advert is “discover why more mums are switching to Nurofen For Children.” As a father, I know that all of the reasons they give for using this product are the reason why I also use this product. But you wouldn’t know that. Not about me, about dads in general. As I mentioned in one of the posts I linked above, you wonder why there are still many dads who sit back and let mum do all the work with raising the kids. Really, when you look at the way dads are advertised to (or not advertised to) then you really don’t have to wonder all that much.
And then, sometimes, advertisers get it right. Nurofen’s rival in the pain relief market is Panadol. Whilst both brands have products aimed at children, and each actually target different types of pain experienced by children (I’m not going into this, so check their respective websites or consult your pharmacist or healthcare professional), both also spend a lot of their advertising dollars promoting their pain relief for adults. I remember an advertising campaign that one of them ran a few years back where it showed different people in different situations needing pain relief.
There was a man in a suit at work, a mother dealing with her young kids, you know, all the cliché stuff that each gender is supposed to relate to, but here we are in 2015 and that really doesn’t cut it. And that’s why this advertisement from last year from Panadol was more than welcome. Here’s a man being a dad, not a businessman trying to make it through his hectic day. A dad who despite his pain, he steps up, takes some pain relief, and gets on with it. (To my wife, yes, I do note the irony of me spending the other morning in bed with a migraine while you took the kids out for the morning, but cut me some slack, okay?)
One thing that I like about this advertisement is that it’s not advertising the children’s product to the dad. Wait… what? If it had have been an advertisement for the Children’s Panadol and it was advertised to dads, I’m more than cool with that, but by having this advert aimed at a parent who just happens to be a dad and telling his story the way we have always expected mothers to do when spending time with their kids, it speaks volumes that dads can be in that same position, needing a little light pain relief to keep up with their child.
And occasionally advertisers get it right and include dads in their advertising of products for parents. I have always loved this realistic portrayal of a family in this Huggies Wipes advert. There is one moment where you think the dads is going to palm off the child with the poo filled nappy to the mum, but in the next shot he’s got the nappy change handled like a professional. And there might be some who argue that when the dad steps in the dog’s poo that he’s being portrayed as the typical dumb dad once again, but the only thing I ever notice is that the dad is the one up and playing while the mum just sits back and watches. That’s not a criticism of the mum by any means, purely an observation and putting a positive spin on what some might see as a negative role played by this “silly dad.”
Now each and every time I write about dads in advertising I add a link to the Daddy Doctines and the 8 Bit Dad websites because both Chris and Zach are all over this subject as far as advertising in the US goes. And I know that both are writing their Dads in Super Bowl Advertisement pieces right now so no doubt I will be able to share their posts on my Facebook page and link in their posts on a future post of my own.
Did you see any of the Super Bowl advertisements, and if so, which was your favourite? For the dads, did you feel that dads were given a good run in the advertising this year?