After the recent debacle and backlash surrounding Huggies diapers advertising and the portrayal of fathers as “dummies”, “bumbling idiots” and “doofuses” who are put to the test with the quality of these diapers and wipes, this seems like the best time to take the proverbial high road in honor of Father’s Day and celebrate the ads that celebrate Dad.
Luckily, there are a few that not just distinguish our guy as a feeling, thinking, caring person, but they honor life moments that all parents and kids can recognize.
- Volkswagen Polo Dad reported to have been created by DDB, London, gives new perspective to the idea of security. Not overprotective – just family protective. It reminds me of many simple moments, not stereotypical, not typical, but universal.
- Subaru Baby Driver was developed by Carmichael Lynch and is the most heartfelt 30 seconds of time travel you will ever see. The only argument in our home whenever we see the spot is why didn't they keep the same color stripes on the blouse?
- AT&T Diaper Dad created by BBDO gets closer to the inept Dad interpretation but it saves itself (according to the dad at our house) because this guy missed the game – presumably to care for his youngster and ends the phone call to do the same.
- And finally, Verizon’s Dad and Grad spot that pokes fun at the clichéd nonverbal communications most men are accused of – only to be “bested” by the previous Mother’s Day crying commercial that doesn’t do too much for the image of mothers and their daughters either.
Clearly there’s still plenty of room for real and sincere portrayals in advertising that are not just believable, but relevant and reflective of the people raising kids today. When there’s more of this depiction as the norm in marketing communications, it will be that much sweeter to kiss the fictional bumbling, diaper-changing-failure dad goodbye.