Surprise – a dad could win this mom contest

Stereotypes, media and long-held assumptions might make you believe that more men buy power tools than women – and maybe that’s true.  Maybe it’s not.

But either way, you’re certainly not going to find major home improvement retailers running campaigns which target only men.

It’s bad business.  It alienates customers.  It’s sexist.  It’s wrong.armour

Unfortunately, that’s not the way business works at Armour, which makes various food products, most notably meats.  There, it unveiled the exclusionary Great Moms Sweepstakes, running now through November.

No, it has nothing to do with Mother’s Day, and yes, anyone can enter – which means that a dad could be named a “great mom” and receive $5,000 in free groceries.

It’s hard to fathom just how Armour – founded in 1867 by two men – could create a campaign that ignores fathers contributions in today’s equality-seeking world.  Digital salt is rubbed in the wound when Armour uses its website to try and justify its oddly named contest:

Join us as we honor Great Moms – the everyday unsung heroes who give their all for their family and ask for nothing in return. We are celebrating and surprising deserving moms nationwide all year. Follow along on our website and Facebook Page for news and updates from our events.

To be sure, moms deserve those kind words in entirety – but so do dads.

Imagine you’re a dad who’s just read that text, and you’re thinking about all the work you’ve done to help raise your kids:  diapers changed, stories read, baths given, shopping trips made, youth sports attended, gifts bought, meals cooked, snacks made – and it has all been overlooked.  Your contribution means nothing.  So why should you continue buying its products?  You probably won’t, which is unfortunate.armour2.png

Ignoring dad’s contribution as an equally unsung hero disregards his status as a true, equal parent.

Armour even awkwardly uses photos of men (dads?) on its Facebook page to promote the contest.  And how strange will it look if a dad ends up being its winner?

The entire Armour campaign is a missed opportunity to celebrate parenting – not just moms – because we all know that roles are different in families now, and that they all come in different shapes and sizes.

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Someone needs to tell Luvs that dads change diapers

When Huggies unveiled its infamous Dad Test campaign in 2012, the negative reaction was swift enough for Huggies to make an immediate change in its marketing approach.  The ripple effect was wide, as plenty of ad agencies learned an abrupt lesson:  dads are not buffoons.

But just because dads were being used less and less as the butt of advertising jokes doesn’t mean they had instantly achieved equal footing with moms.  Nearly five years after the Huggies debacle, dads have yet to be treated like true parents in the world of marketing.

luvs2.jpgTake a look at the website of Luvs diapers, which unveiled material putting the emphasis on mom as the lead parent.  In today’s modern, dual-parenting, two-parent-working-world, it’s hard to imagine Luvs would actually relegate dads to the backseat quite like this.

luvs1.jpgLuvs’s website speaks only to moms on exactly three of its front page sliders by excluding dads as equivalent, equal, identical parents in more ways than one – even to the startling point of exclaiming its diaper as the “Official Diaper of Experienced Moms.”

None of this comes as much of a stretch when you realize that its parent company – P&G – also brought us the highly exclusionary Thank You Mom Olympic campaign, which no doubt made dads cringe while being disregarded as equal child-raising parents during the world’s largest athletic competition. More likely, it sent shockwaves down the spines of dads, who like moms, spent many late afternoons, evenings and weekends shipping their children to incessant practices and games.

luvs5.jpgThe exclusion continues on its Facebook page, where it gracelessly invites only mothers to join in on the Luvs conversation, leaving dads everywhere in the dust.  Moreover, it offers Momojis as part of its “Official Keyboard of Experienced Parents.”  Here Luvs makes the unpleasant mistake of insisting that mom is an exact literal synonym for parent, when we all know that parents luvs4include both moms and dads.

In other words, all parents aren’t only moms.

With competitors Huggies and Pampers also offering mom-only sections on their respective websites with no comparable dad counterpart, they too insist that only moms change diapers, leaving dads to wonder what it takes to get respect in the parenting world.

It’s a surprising slow-to-change world when it comes to marketing to parents, but here’s hoping Luvs will make some quick and easy edits by spreading equal amounts of its name to both genders before its curious approach reaches Huggies proportions.

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