For decades, the media’s portrayal of father’s have either been absent or out of touch with the virtues of parenting. From television’s Ward Cleaver to the recent Homer Simpson. With the introduction of more reality based TV shows, like “Modern Family”, viewers in 2009 were able to see how many fathers, like the characters Cameron Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett are playing a significant role in the lives of their children today — even if these two dads are a bit bumbling still. Hannah Seligson, of the New York Times, says that It seems the media has always wanted their audiences to view the father role on TV shows, film and commercials to be the breadwinners, who bestow their moral advice or hand the wallet over to fix everything.
According to www.direct.tv, “Modern Family” is one of the best ensemble comedies on TV and even this show has caught criticism by entertainment bloggers, like Critique for Critics for not representing a wider variety of ethnicities and religions within the so-called “Modern Family.” However, these misrepresented father figures are everywhere. The blogger for FatherWorkandFamily.com finally had enough of seeing this false depiction and responded to a bunch of Tide commercials that were in collaboration with the NFL.
Appalled by the call to make laundry a “manly” activity, the blogger commented, “Dads are men. Dads are involved at home. Marketers, catch on, or you are missing a big opportunity.”
Going Against the Tide
One of the commercials the blogger was referring to showed a dad who called himself a “dad-mom.” Dad-mom is the kind of guy who wants you to know that even though he does the laundry and braids his daughter’s hair, he still maintains his manliness by doing pull-ups and being “awesome.” Audiences didn’t see this character as being a true or remotely humorous depiction. Many viewers who responded to the YouTube commercial said that doing the laundry shouldn’t make you a “dad-mom” and being there to care for your kids while your partner is at work, makes you a parent who cares for his kids, or laymen terms a “dad.” Here’s the video, so you can make your own assessment:
Dad 2.0 Summit
In an effort to clear the cobwebs of misconception, fathers who are avid bloggers recently came together to make a connection with the media. These fathers gathered to attend and present at the Dad 2.0 Summit in Houston, Texas, where marketers, social media leaders, and bloggers came together to discuss the changing perception of fatherhood today. The conference, sponsored by Dove Men+Care made a deep impact this year and the one before. Kevin Brown, the commercial programming representative for the Huggies brand in Wisconsin told Seligson that last year’s conference was a definite game changer for how they communicated to their male audiences.
“Dads do not want to be treated differently … We are better marketers because of what happened last year,” Brown said. Dad 2.0 hopes to build more connections like this one, between parent bloggers and marketers and that both sides are speaking openly to each other — to be understood.