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.

Innovation is useless without marketing to match it

jifwhipsWhile we consider ourselves marketing watchdogs, we can certainly take a moment to give a product credit where it’s due.

Despite all the fair and deserving scrutiny we lend our friends at Smucker’s, we think Jif is a tasty and fresh product. (Just don’t expect a Christmas card from us this year, Jif.)

Product innovation, on the other hand, has never exactly been one of Jif’s strong points. After debuting in 1958, it took nearly two decades to introduce its extra crunchy flavor (1974), followed by a healthier version (1991), again, almost two decades after that.

Now, exactly two more decades after 1994’s Reduced Fat Jif, we now have Jif Whips, as we noticed in a primetime TV commercial last night.

It wasn’t like we were expecting to see the old-fashioned “Choosy” tagline eradicated from the ad, but we were hoping it might be a chance for Jif to match this product originality with the beginnings of a marketing slogan revolution that could catapult the company into modernism.

We should have known better.

Like an eighties child attached to tired catchphrases of yesteryear, Jif remains unknowingly insistent on showing its old age, unable to let go of a past by introducing an inventive, new product mismatched with a slogan that simply doesn’t work anymore.

This isn’t like a midlife crisis — [insert mumbling voice] you’re 56, by the way, Jif — it’s more like a catastrophe. A disaster. And certainly an embarrassment.

This awkward screen shot only validates the confused and gauche product we call Jif.

We know Jif doesn’t really care for dads, but what do gay dads think of the “Choosy” slogan and its website’s “mom advisor”?  Has Jif even bothered to ask?  It’s unfathomable how long this ridiculous slogan has lasted, but it’s difficult to disengage from pride.

Actually, we’re not asking Jif to run away from its traditions, but it cannot become a slave to its past. Its past is its present. It can’t let a so-called unchangeable slogan be an excuse for a possible eradicating perception as a pioneering company, or at least for being the best it can be. It must aggressively compete for every customer imaginable, and cannot sneer at innovative marketing thoughts and forward thinking simply because it’s connected to some slogan from which it can’t let go.

The great brands don’t sit on a slogan for life, and even the rare ones who can (Nike comes to mind), don’t possess a phrase that’s old-fashioned at best, and gender-parental exclusionary at worst.

We insist, all of the above is a recipe for an eventual loss of market share.

What do you say, Jif? Can you whip up something new?

At least one Christmas card and a whole lot more customers might depend on it.