Along with several other timely Father's Day stories, I've got something to say. But it's more of a question.
Why is the ad industry taking all of the heat for portraying dads in a bad light?
Don't get me wrong, I can't agree more with Adweek's "The Demise of the Doofus Dad in Ads." Ads have made Dad's out as incompetent. But the ads are getting better.
Thank You Mom, Here's to Dad!
This progress was made clear to me after wondering aloud why I kept seeing P&G's "Thank You Mom" campaign so close to Father's Day. This campaign is P&G's biggest ever and it will run across TV and Facebook, amongst other platforms, through the Olympic Games. And it's an awesome ad.
LOVE the P&G/Mom/Olympics commercial. But as it runs closer to Father's Day, I'm wondering...didn't Dad help them win those medals too?
— Kevin Dugan (@prblog) June 14, 2012
But it was quickly, and accurately, pointed out to me that there's a companion ad and perhaps my family and I were simply watching the wrong TV shows. So "Here's to Dad."
TV as a Whole Should Get "Credit"
As the ad industry makes progress, Dad comes off as an even bigger joke across a variety of TV shows. From popular comedies like Modern Family and long-running shows like Two & A Half Men to quickly cancelled shows and even Disney shows like Good Luck Charlie. This doesn't even consider animated shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad.
My point is there are plenty of examples throughout mainstream media and popular culture that reinforce these stereotypes. Movements like the Dad 2.0 Summit have their work cut out for them as we see progress in just one facet of the doofus Dad syndrome.
Family Unit Morphing
Brands and TV should take the lead of other industries that are responding to a much broader issue. The definition of family has changed and it continues to change. As a result, consumer needs are also changing and our industry needs to change with it.