Developments In ‘Dadvertising’

Developments In ‘Dadvertising’

Many years ago there was a print ad that read something to the effect that if you forgot Mother’s Day, the world would end. You forget Father’s Day, not so much. That’s not an opinion that we share; both moms and dads are crucial parts of families and should be equally celebrated. 

Last month’s blog reviewed stereotypical perceptions of moms perpetuated by advertising, and how advertising can and has altered those traditional perceptions. Like moms, fathers’ roles have been changing in real life and ads for the better. In fact, many recent ads directed toward dads — or ‘Dadvertising’ — highlight fathers as more active parents and domestic experts than the dads of yesteryear. 

But don’t take our word for it — Dr. Cynthia Morton of the University of Florida’s Department of Advertising said it better: “What happens in society and what we see in advertising portrayals are very closely tied. One of the notes is that there is more of a positive attitude among anxious new fathers. These are portrayals of men who are not afraid to lean into the primary caregiver if they have to.” 

We’ve noticed. Here’s some Dadvertising that came across our screens that we gave a thumbs up for positive dad portrayals. 

1.The Force Is Strong With Dad
As seen in this 2020 ad by Game Stop Canada, dads play a more active parenting role as they connect with their kids through the Star Wars franchise. And all the connections are linked by that one iconic line from the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back: “I am your father.” More endearing than baby Yoda. 

2. For The Health of Dad
Here’s an ad from last year that doesn’t necessarily conform to the mental template of an ad. That doesn’t mean it isn’t any less impactful. The message contained in the Prostate Cancer’s UK celebrates Dads with all of their concomitant heroism and quirks, resonating as much as it can with a wider audience, while reminding those in the family circle that early detection of the disease can save lives. 

3. Smashing Stereotypes
In this cliche-free short film by Budweiser, we get to see stepfathers being the best dads to their stepkids — fathers who took on the role as parents and were determined to do right by their children.
It carries even more emotional heft when these three kids — not actors — ask their fathers to be officially adopted. Now that’s really stepping up! 

Dadvertising as a symbol of positive masculinity? We can work with that.