When you don’t even realize you’re being sexist

If you haven’t heard of What’s Up Moms – you should. It claims to be the #1 moms channel on YouTube, and that’s no small feat.

This groups of mom friends aims to produce short, funny videos geared toward women, and throughout it all has been featured nationally while garnering over 550,000 subscribers.

whatsupmoms3There are plenty of items to watch, but check out the video titled, “Dad’s First Time Alone With Baby.”

If you can get past the fact that this sketch is one long commercial for GLAD Press ‘n Seal, you’ll find a video that generally offers a warm, clever look at a dad’s ingenuity and resourcefulness. We enjoy how its creators celebrate the fact that dads parent different.

That’s refreshing and important to see!

However, the title – “Dad’s First Time Alone With Baby” – certainly implies something different doesn’t it?

It implies that dad isn’t an equal parent, and that mom is in charge when it comes to raising children.

That title would have never been written about a mom; imagine: “Mom’s First Time Alone With Baby.” Thus, its current title comes across as sexist and demeaning.

So does mom’s question to dad and baby at the beginning of the video: “Are you sure you guys are gonna be ok?”

Would anyone ever question whether mom could handle a baby alone for the first time or not? Why turn it into an event, and why make it an issue with dads?

The only time someone should ever utter the phrase, “Dad’s first time alone with baby,” is when it’s one of these tearjerking, soldier-meets-baby-for-the-first-time moments.

This video’s sexist approach is so wrong, we’d like to see the title changed and the beginning of the video edited. Keep the funny, just not at dad’s expense.

How about it, What’s Up Moms?

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Drefting away

When Similac unveiled its “Welcome to the Sisterhood of Motherhood” campaign this past January, there was a faction of dads and moms who lauded the inclusion of fathers in the commercial. It seems they were so ecstatic over not only actually seeing dads in a TV ad – but dads wearing babies – that they might have even been blinded by that awkward, old-fashioned tagline.

Alas, it’s doubtful there’s even one dad who can relate to “the Sisterhood of Motherhood.”

The video was only part of an exhaustive campaign over which we had even stronger thoughts, but unfortunately, Similac uses the same promo yet today as evidenced by its recent full page ad in the July 2015 American Baby magazine.dreft3

In that same magazine (page 41, to be exact), you’ll also find an ad for Dreft laundry detergent, which uses the slogan #AMAZINGHOOD.

That hashtag is a refreshing antidote to the exclusionary tagline used by Similac.

Imagine how different Similac’s campaign might have been if it – rather than using sister and mother – had simply used amazing, or even parent.

We’re not going to give Dreft a total free pass, as it still wants it both ways. Take a gander at dreft.com and click on “Our Story,” where it continues to believe that dads don’t exist. And its maker, P&G, has a steady practice of ignoring dads elsewhere, too.

But we’ll give credit where it’s due, because #AMAZINGHOOD is a fine word choice that doesn’t exclude dads – dads who care for their children and buy Dreft laundry detergent.

Dreft likes to tout that its product “has been trusted by moms for over 80 years,” but we suspect a dad or two has also placed its trust in Dreft over that time.

So, maybe in the next 80 years ahead, Dreft will finally begin to place trust in dads.

Now that would be #amazing.

After 26 years, Boppy may know how to hold a newborn, but it doesn’t concede that dads can, too

boppy4Boppy’s marketing remains ever dad-unfriendly, and its latest display ad dishes some jarring irony.

Note the headline: “After 26 years, we know how to hold a newborn.”

Well, after 26 years, it should also know that dads exist – and shop, and make purchases, and care for babies, and use Boppies. Yes, dads use Boppies!

But the company won’t acknowledge that.

If it did, it might start to recognize dads and adopt a new slogan instead of “Support for All Momkind.” It’s rare to find a business like Nike that boppy5can stick with one motto and make it work for a lifetime. In today’s world of marketing, it’s smart business to unveil a different saying in order to introduce a fresh campaign, kickstart a product, or inject new life into the old.

It would be easy enough to swap out momkind for something like parentkind, or babykind, or childkind, but that wouldn’t really solve the other part of its problem. Maybe the play on “mankind” was too easy fare for Boppy, but isn’t that term – mankind – so antiquated and completely out of use that no one would dare to use it nowadays? Have you ever heard of “mankind” spoken anywhere? No one would even touch it.

So why make reference to it?

Unfortunately, Boppy appears to be stubborn in employing the same tired, worn out mentality of, say, Jif, by implying that parenting hasn’t changed, likely afraid to admit that fathers have never been more actively engaged in raising babies.

There are plenty of companies who have changed with the times. It’s necessary for business survival.

We wrote about Boppy back on Oct. 10, 2014, and they squarely ignored our commentary, refusing to even dialogue boppy6despite repeated attempts on Twitter. And since then, its website — www.boppy.com — hasn’t changed much, and continues to perpetuate the belief that only moms care for children.  Could adding a “Dad Center” be such a bad thing, or is Boppy really afraid it will turn off moms, or send an improper message, or it’s bad for sales?

At least that slogan is rather small in the ad, but it’s there, reminding dads that they don’t matter to Boppy as customers.  Even that word “support” means the company is eager to dish it to moms, but not to dads.  Yes, the word support is likely in reference to breastfeeding, but as the company exclaims everywhere, a Boppy has far more uses that that.

Twenty-six years is a fine accomplishment for Boppy, but unless it can adapt with a changing world, it’s plausible that today’s new customers will go elsewhere for baby pillows – or do without.