The Grinch who stole Father’s Day

No matter how long we live, we all have this same statistic in common: we got to spend (roughly) nine months being held exclusively by our mothers. Life expectancy aside, and speaking solely in general terms, mothers will have always had at least nine more months than fathers to hold their children.

During pregnancy, of course, fathers have the chance to touch the belly, but there’s a barrier in the way. Fathers can experience a baby kick, but the sensation for the mother and child are one and the same. Fathers can talk and sing to the infant inside the mother’s womb, but babies not johnson&johnsononly hear the mother’s voice – they feel it.

I once heard a woman tell the story how their child died upon birth. She asked the nurses to let the dad, not her, be the first to hold their child, because he naturally never got to during the pregnancy. Besides, it was the first, only, and last time he would embrace their child all in the same instance.

Mothers have the exclusive, honored gift of carrying children. That’s special. That creates a bond with every child that doesn’t make it more superior than with a father, just unique.

And it should be treated with uniqueness, even in marketing.

However, Johnson & Johnson’s latest ad artlessly exudes and radiates exclusion. It doesn’t take a deep thinker to see that dads, plain and simple, are crudely left out of this marketing message. What’s more, the advertisement is ironically straight out of the June 2014 Parents magazine, which includes a special reading section specifically for dads, timed knowingly for Father’s Day.

That’s some holiday present from Johnson & Johnson, huh dads? A sucker punch below the belt, followed by a kick in the teeth, finished off with salt in the wounds.

I expected more from this company so synonymous with baby care. No head-to-toe wash around is going to clean up this mess.

Burned by Texas Toast

“Do you realize that toilet paper has not changed in my lifetime? It’s just paper on a cardboard roll, that’s it. And in ten thousand years, it will still be exactly the same because really, what else can they do?”

– George Costanza on Seinfeld

Later in this same episode, George’s friends Jerry and Elaine point out that toilet paper has become softer, there’s more sheets per roll and it comes in a variety of colors. Nevertheless, George is ultimately right. Despite some minor tweaks, there’s really not much that can be done with toilet paper; the basic concept has remained the same.

A magazine ad, however, has no limitation when it comes to creativity and reinventing itself. The beginning canvas of an advertisement starts as blank as Puddy’s mind, and the advertising agency has complete control to design and say whatever it pleases.

Why then, have we not advanced further when it comes to the way retailers sell their products?

Take, for instance, the two ads featured in this entry. The tie ad might have been socially acceptable at one time, but it is taboo now. If used texastoast vanheusentoday Van Heusen would surely get some icy stares from the media, public, and anyone with a pulse. That ad today might even be deemed illegal.

But what about Texas Toast’s humdinger? Just a harmless ad with cute girls giving thanks to mom for the delicious Texas Toast on their plates?

Hardly. The ad perpetuates the same stereotype existing at the time of the Van Heusen ad, that moms are the ones who take care of their kids. Why isn’t it taboo?

It’s because ad execs are still trapped in a bygone era where market research tells them moms buys the Texas Toast, not dads. Even if that were true, why slight dads and propagate the stereotype?

The NFL has only four black head coaches out of 32 teams, but does that mean blacks can’t coach? Of course not! And in other news, dads have reportedly been seen at grocery stores from time to time.

We here at dadmarketing think Texas Toast needs to revise their ads in the future, or we’ll tear them out of the magazine, and promptly put them in the same place we do toilet paper.


Capri Sun drops the ball

caprisunThere are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Capri Sun after kids’ sports games.

I mean, seriously, have you ever been to a soccer field and noticed what kids drink? How about a baseball diamond? The pool?

Capri Sun’s silver juice pouch is a staple in every kid’s gym bag. If the company was smart, it would skip the middleman and just sell it directly at the games, because that’s where all of it ends up once it’s bought in stores anyway.

But the company isn’t smart.

I knew this the moment I saw their ad in Scholastic Parent & Child magazine. Yes, you read correctly, its title is Parent & Child magazine, not Mom & Child magazine. That was a relief in itself; but I’m not letting Parent & Child completely off the hook, because they should screen their advertisers to ensure consistency with their magazine’s mission and target audience – and name.

Capri Sun’s ad contains the line “Good for moms. Awesome for kids.”

Perhaps if Capri Sun were selling their goods at the games they’d realize that often it’s the dad who lugs them by the case – sometimes in coolers on ice – to thirsty kids. Capri Sun might figure out that it’s many times dads who are coaching these thousands of parched kids.

But Capri Sun won’t. Their marketing gurus are sitting somewhere confused, thinking that “soccer mom” is a literal term, and believe every dad is currently on the golf course with his college buddies. That’s the only way I can figure that they’d have the nerve, or ignorance as it may be, to run this ad in Parent & Child magazine.

Giving Capri Sun some time to visit sports fields and get to know their consumers is a reasonable goal.

After all, if kids can score goals, the adults of Capri Sun can certainly set some.