Last year, Kraft ran a Mother’s Day promotion – Mother’s Day Away – which encouraged moms to take time away from their family as Kraft covered the cost of a babysitter.
Going on the premise that moms wanted time off, Kraft gave $100 to 500 moms – $50,000 in total.
“Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate Mom in all of her greatness, but we know the holiday doesn’t stop the challenges of motherhood – temper tantrums, sleepless nights and picky eaters,” said Sergio Eleuterio, Head of Marketing for Kraft. “With Kraft ‘Mother’s Day Away’ we are giving moms across the country the chance to have what they secretly really want: some time for themselves.”
While the offer was certainly well-intentioned and generous, the holiday promotion had its faults. Namely, why didn’t dad get one?
What about dad?
A year has passed since the Kraft Mother’s Day campaign. And now with this year’s Father’s Day just around the corner, dads are waiting for their Kraft gesture.
The problem is – they’re going to be waiting a long time. Attempts made to communicate with Kraft via email and social media went unreturned.
Of course, it’s unlikely we’ll see a comparable campaign. Food companies have a history of omitting fathers when it comes to holiday promotions.
In today’s modern world where parenting roles are blurred, there’s no reason this should happen.
Exclusion aside, there’s other troublesome matters with Mother’s Day Away. The promotion purports that being a parent has more negative experiences than positive ones.
Kraft makes it sound like meltdowns and kids pounding on bathroom doors occur regularly.
There’s no doubt parenting has its moments. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
It’s time to bury the tired trope that kids are hellions who force parents to hide. There’s nothing particularly positive about a contest that implies: “Hey moms, on this heartwarming, family-based holiday, want to avoid the very people who made you a mother in the first place?”
Dads don’t help?
The ad copy also insinuates that dads don’t change diapers and that moms never get a break.
One might argue that the ad hints dads don’t do anything to help, thus creating the very reason for the contest – that a babysitter is required to fill in the shoes of the ignorant father who doesn’t help around the home.
In truth, a babysitter isn’t needed. Kraft should stop perpetuating the unfair, unrealistic and outdated notion that dads don’t help around the home and moms won’t relinquish household responsibilities and want to be Super Moms.
Of course, families realize this isn’t the case. Today’s fathers are actively engaged with household duties: diapering, cooking, cleaning, and, are also very familiar with trying to go to the bathroom while kids pound on the door.
“Leave the mothering to someone else?”
It’s called parenting, and dads are equally competent at it.
Here’s a rough draft for the way the advertisement should have been written: “Leave the parenting to another person for one day and hire a babysitter. Enjoy your day with your husband and/or find something fun to do on your own or with other moms. Submit your receipt and we’ll cover up to $100 for your babysitter bill. We’ll also offer this promotion to dads on Father’s Day.”
Dads are waiting
We’ll give Kraft a free pass this year due to the pandemic, but here’s hoping it will make things right next year.
The time to start planning is now. Kraft should contact real dads and start engaging to find a better way so as to not offend.
As Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”