Note: This is not a sponsored post, nor is it an anti-sponsor post. It’s more of a “Hey, sponsor. Why you gotta be like that?” post.
Did you see that post I wrote about not watching the Olympics? That held true for the first week, when my boys and I were staying in a converted boathouse on a lake, and the best late-night entertainment we could hope for was the sound of mating bullfrogs. But during the second week, we transitioned to a cottage with a TV that gets three channels–and NBC was one of them. And frankly, I was glad my boys got to see glimpses of athletic triumph amid all the blandly packaged filler/pap.
I was gladder when one of the ubiquitous “Proud Sponsor of Moms” ads came on, and my 10-year-old son said, “But not dads, I guess. Jerks.”
I can appreciate the following things:
I can appreciate that this ad campaign was an enormous undertaking that was hatched years ago.
I can appreciate that it was based on reams of research indicating that moms are P&G’s biggest purchasers.
I can appreciate that this research is still probably true (although it’s starting to look a little dated).
I can appreciate that the ads were well made, and strummed lots of very appreciative heartstrings.
I can appreciate P&G products, many of which I buy regularly.
I can appreciate that P&G is not completely tone-deaf to dads.
I can appreciate moms, who in many cases are extraordinary sources of support.
I can appreciate my mom, who has supported me so much over the decades. When I was a cartoonist in college, it was she who cut out and saved all my strips in an album so that I could one day publish them all in a book. It’s not exactly the Olympics, but still. Without her, the book wouldn’t have happened.
I appreciate all that.
But when the world’s largest multinational consumer goods company makes such a monumental ad buy on a network covering the most prestigious athletic festival on Earth, and says that “as we celebrate the world’s Olympic athletes, let’s not forget the person who got them there,” that’s a powerful message. It not only marginalizes dads, but it also adds to the undue burden on moms that they are their kids’ only source of support.
P&G, we dads know you didn’t get where you are by being stupid, and this ad campaign will very likely generate a lot of revenue. But we also know there are a lot of us who love and support our kids just as much as their moms do. I’m glad boys like mine are figuring that out.
How about some love in 2016? “Proud Sponsor of Parents” has a nice ring to it.
Read more from Doug on his personal blog, Laid-Off Dad.
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