With a little help from my friends

Last week dadmarketing had the pleasure of interacting with the excellent Tiny Blue Lines, a wonderful website we’re helphappy to have discovered. Highly recommended.

In our conversation, she brought up an interesting point.

You can head to our Twitter site if you want to read our discussion, but she made a comment worthy of further exploration when she said, “…props to all the dads who don’t think of (handling baby’s night feedings) as ‘helping’!”

That made us think.

In fact, it was enough to make us look up the true definition of help, which can be defined several ways, as noted at dictionary.com. Those most applicable in this case would be:

  1. To give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist;
  2. To make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate;
  3. To be useful or profitable to.

However, when put in context with night feedings and caring for a baby – a role most associated with mom – it seems to puts dad back in the assistant/helper role, doesn’t it?

Consider the converse: if a dad was working on a car in the garage all day and mom said, “I helped my husband work on the car today,” wouldn’t that also connote feelings that she was merely an aide, or an assistant?

And then it hit us that this is one of the many reasons dadmarketing exists.

The more we can all rid the world of these labels, stereotypes and preconceived notions, the more we’ll be able to say, dad helped to feed the baby during the night, and it will simply sound like he provided what was necessary to accomplish a task, or contributed to something, or was useful.

Period.

And it won’t sound like he was only assisting his wife with one of her jobs during the night. And when a dad cooks a meal it won’t sound like he was being a good husband and helping mom out in the kitchen. And, maybe, just maybe, we can rid the use of that absurd “Mr. Mom” name.

Tiny Blue Lines’ comment was indeed thought-provoking, because props for sure, to those dads who don’t think of it as helping, but further props to those moms and dads who don’t categorize it a mom or dad job in the first place.

Jif, ignoring the problem only makes it worse

We seem to be on a Jif Rift lately.jifad

Part of it has to do with Jif ads on TV. They’re continuing to use the outdated, old fashioned choosy slogan that further validates they are the “Washington Redskins of Ad Slogans” (refusing to change when others say they need to). Their new ads during prime time bring back the unpleasantness into the limelight once again, so in effect they’re creating their own problems.

Another complaint has to do with their blatant snubbing of our inquiries. We’re simply trying to chat with them via Twitter, but they’re flat-out ignoring us. Herein lies the principal reason we were formed – to stop dad exclusion in marketing and advertising. It doesn’t matter how good a product is, if Jif doesn’t even listen to its consumers (i.e., dads), they’re not maximizing their potential. Period.

Odd as all that may seem (and believe us, Jif continues to get more odd everyday as they press on with this ridiculous slogan in today’s world), the fact they added their only-audible, non-print dad-add-on, “Choosy moms and dads choose Jif,” makes things even more peculiar.

Here’s what Justin Aclin of the excellent Hunter PR blog wrote on February 22:

“‘Brands get in trouble when they think having a dad in the commercial necessitates calling out that it’s a dad,’ said Chris Routly—who gained national attention when his blog The Daddy Doctrines called out a Huggies ad campaign to the point where the ads were eventually pulled—on a panel discussion called ‘Marketing to Today’s Dad.’”

As if this quote wasn’t enough, notice the image featured in this blog post. Doesn’t the photo make Jif look like a confused company when coupled with their slogan? And as we pointed out on July 17, this silly add-on only draws more attention to the fact that Jif has excluded dads for a long time.

It’s been 56 years since Jif was introduced in 1958, but it’s not too late.

Jif, please make things right and be a brand of the future, not your past – because as we consumers see it now, your past is your present.

A Walgreens surprise

I was surprised to learn that the word “hack” has exactly 19 different definitions at dictionary.com, and 24 if you count “verb phrases.” Perhapswalgreens even more surprising is the mostly negative connotations that come with the word hack: to damage, to cut ruthlessly, to kick at shins (ouch).

But we’re groomed from a very young age to believe that all surprises are a good thing, so Walgreens keeps my surprises coming. First, they not only choose to use the word hack with its latest foray into the Twitter-verse, but second, they alienate dads by putting only the word “mom” in front of it, and then hashtagging it.

As you can imagine already, this of course, is the theme of Walgreens’ newest Twitter ad campaign (pictured) that allows us to chuckle at all of our kids’ oopsies in life, which never go “according to plan,” and feature children making all kinds of laughable, silly, goofy messes.

A recent magazine ad states, “We’ve got your back, whenever and wherever you need us,” and urges us to buy their new line of Well Beginnings products (and nope, there isn’t any dad on their website to be found).

What would motivate a dad to shop at Walgreens after seeing this skewed Twitter crusade?

It sounds like their marketing people are hanging out with the Proctor & Gamble people – people who renounce or surrender individual independence, integrity, belief, in return for money in the performance of a task normally thought of as involving a strong personal commitment.

Yeah, that’s a definition of something that rhymes with “ack.” Surprise, surprise.