Commercials in general have never been super kind to parents. Many companies default to talking directly to moms, as if all mothers stay at home and are the sole ones responsible for cooking and cleaning, playing into old stereotypes. At the same time, many commercials poke fun at dads as goofballs who can’t figure out how to do laundry or make dinner, or play into macho male stereotypes.
We took a look at a few different commercials that portray dads to show you which companies hit the mark and which totally mess it all up.
A ton of amazing commercials hit the small screen during this year’s Super Bowl. The fact that they were first aired during a major sports event that garners many viewers is important, because it shows that companies understand that men are multifaceted individuals that may go wild for some football but are also fathers (and not the doofy fathers who are always bumbling it up).
Dove’s #RealStrength ad shows dads in a variety of scenarios, but mostly it shows them being kind, caring and expressing emotion in very real ways. This is poignant for a culture that continuously pushes the stereotypical (and very damaging) macho masculinity trope. The caption for the video reads, “90% of men around the world say that their caring side is part of their masculinity and strength. Dove Men+Care acknowledges the caring side of men and celebrates their #RealStrength as a true sign of masculinity.” A+ to Dove for breaking down these barriers while shilling its product.
This My Bold Dad commercial from Toyota talks about the choice and responsibility of becoming a dad in a way that is incredibly heartwarming. (Bring your tissues for this one!)
One of the other amazing ways companies are painting a more diverse picture of dads is by including gay families. While many companies have shied away from portraying a variety of families, others are smartly realizing that they are neglecting a whole section of potential customers. This recent one from Campbell’s Soup shows that there are many different ways to be a (Star Wars-loving) family.