So Huggies came out with this new ad showing a bunch of dads in recliners, trying to get their kids to snuggle down for a nap after a warm bottle. It’s sort of a sweet image actually, and at first I thought: yes! dads in a commercial for diapers!
It’s a small win for the dads-as-competent/involved parents, but it’s a win nonetheless.
Then the voice-over arrived ….
Jim Higley over at Bobblehead Dad is rightfully indignant at this freakshow of a moronic ad. He went so far as to create a petition to have Huggies stop running this claptrap of oafish fatherism, and I don’t blame him.
You can check out the video here for your own viewing pleasure, and again, the imagery is about the sweetest thing you can imagine. Go dads. But it’s the way Huggies sets up this moment, saying it wants to put its diapers to the “ultimate test:” dads.
So dads can’t change diapers, is that it? Dads are so incompetent that they’ll what? Move the baby around so much that the diaper leaks? Just let the baby stew in its juices until help arrives? The whole tone of the commercial went from sweet to frustratingly comical, with just a few short words that only serve to reinforce an outdated notion that dads can’t handle childcare. (When did changing a diaper get so difficult that “even dads can’t do it” or whatever this commercial is trying to imply?)
Jim very elegantly sums it up on his blog:
“But we are talking about an old stereotype of dads that candidly really is frustrating. And tired. The vast majority of dads I know don’t fit that stereotype. They’re also not bonafide Martha Stewarts. They’re just parents who are working with their wife or partner to raise their kids. They divvy up the tasks. They juggle. They do their best. They just parent.”
I’m with Jim. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen in this world … but it just doesn’t need to exist. It’s tired. It’s lazy. It’s outdated.
If I were still in the diaper-buying phase — and as the parent who does the majority of our household’s shopping — I’d take one look at this new campaign and say Huggies failed the “dad test” big time, and then I’d load up my cart with Pampers. Or Baby Thongs. Anything but Huggies.