RIP, Homer Simpson
Here at Boelter + Lincoln, we have an organic expertise of “Mom.” So many of our clients have been targeting moms for so long, we’ve learned a great deal about the persona, the power and the decision-making savvy of the North American Mutha.
But what about the other half?
Dads have their own unique position within the structure of the advertising audience. And lately, there’s been a backlash of how dads are betrayed in the media. Personally, I’m thrilled that others are finally talking about this issue.
In short: The dumb dad is dead.
The fumbling, out-of-touch, insensitive guy is a tired stereotype that is now getting some harsh criticism on a national level. But I get why it’s been such a popular place to go for creatives. I mean, for decades, men were large and in charge – from “Father Knows Best” to Mike Brady, the sixties and seventies were packed with a chauvinistic slant on our society.
The world, post sexual revolution, left us with a pile of burned bras and a lot of potential energy against men – Duh! It had a good run too. A solid 30 years of dopey, sports-obsessed dads who couldn’t change diapers, cook a meal or find their way to any destination.
Recently, the Kimberly-Clark brand, Huggies, pulled ads that offended dads by portraying them as unable to care for newborns. A group of dads partnered with Change.org and made their feelings known. Hooray for Huggies. But of course, we all could probably name several commercials, films and television shows that still celebrate the doofus dad.
But a change is gonna come. Oh, yes it is.
Dads, like their softer, prettier counterparts, want to be seen as being multidimensional. People these days are engineered to watch television while returning e-mails, while eating a late dinner, while texting a friend, while thinking about what to wear tomorrow. As a dad, I’m a jester and have lots of fun with my kids, but I’m also a caregiver who holds them when they hurt and an explorer when they’re curious.
But we don’t need to be called “Superdads” or anything, let’s just focus on a more realistic picture of who we really are. It’s not so easy to pinpoint as the dumb dad, but it will certainly be more relevant and effective. Oh, and Happy (belated) Father’s Day.