It's the height of irony that since I became a mom, I have felt myself becoming a champion for fathers. Sure, before I had a kid, I liked dads all right. I love my daddy, and I knew my husband was bound to be a good father. But I didn't really notice how awful the portrayals of fathers on TV were until I was faced, day after day, with a man who was anything but the bumbling idiot you see on the average sitcom or commercial.
It's the hapless dad so pervasive in American advertising that made the dad bloggers at the Dad 2.0 Summit tell American companies in no uncertain terms earlier this month that they've had just about enough. They're not going to be made fun of anymore and take it lying down. And you know what?
They shouldn't have to! The man I married isn't the moron that Skechers has made fathers out to be in their latest horrendous ad campaign. He's a man who is every bit as involved in his daughter's life as I am, and when companies insult him, they're insulting our whole family dynamic.
Those are the companies that I tend to shy away from. The companies that have decided to embrace modern fatherhood, on the other hand? I'll gladly give them my business ... and the good news is, they exist.
Just take a look at some of these ads that "get" dads:
1. We've seen countless first day of school ads featuring sobbing Moms, but Subaru decided to do something a little different to advertise their Concord. A father bids his scared daughter goodbye on her first day ... and proceeds to follow the school bus just to make sure she's doing OK:
2. Why do we love how Clorox advertised Clorox Clean Up? Let us count the ways! It shows a girl doing science for one, but we were also relieved to see a father who is shown being engaged with his daughter in a positive way. And then there's the kicker: mom doesn't come in to clean up the mess that her doofy husband made. Dad does it himself:
3. Tide and Downy came together for a winner this year with the "princess dress" ad. Not only do we get to see a Dad engaging in imaginary play with his little girl, but he is the one responsible for doing the laundry ... there's no mother figure in sight:
4. To be fair, when Oreo dragged a dad out of bed in the middle of the night to eat cookies with his kids, they were pegging their ad to Father's Day. But holiday or not, this commercial has always stuck with me because we're used to seeing moms get out of bed to take care of upset kids. When is the last time we saw the reality that dads have sleepless nights too?:
5. Google Chrome could have shown a mother chronicling her child's life online, but as the dads at Dad 2.0 so aptly exemplify, it's not just a mom blogger world. And so we have this, a tech-driven love letter from a daddy to a daughter:
What's your take on the goofy dads in TV ads?
Image via Subaru Concord/YouTube