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Where Were the Moms in Sunday’s Commercials?

It seems fitting that the only commercial we saw Sunday that starred a mom didn’t actually air during the game, but the evening before on Saturday Night Live. A parody ad for Totino’s pizza rolls, it showed four men watching the game while one of their wives worked cheerfully and diligently to keep them stocked in beer and snacks. While the men were fixated on the game, the wife played with an infantile Totino’s “activity pack” that looked like a cross between a Lunchable, the $1 section of a toy store, and sheer misery.

While it was meant to be a joke, considering the dearth of commercials starring moms during the big game on Sunday, it wasn’t so funny as it was sadly true.

We’ve seen moms be honored by P&G with their “Thank You, Mom” campaign. Johnson’s rolled out a tear-jearker saluting moms couple of years ago, too. When Mother’s Day approaches, surely a Hallmark-y nod to moms will start flashing across our screens. But why skip out on the biggest TV event of the year to give moms some credit where it’s due?

Dads, dudes, young girls, child death, dogs, domestic violence, and beer got big play this year. Moms? Not so much.

Throw a rock and you’ll hit a study about how women usually wield the most purchasing power in their homes. So why treat them like they don’t exist on a day when millions of dollars will be spent and millions of moms will have their eyes glued to the screen just like so many men? There’s no need to stereotype them, either, by just showing moms cooking and cleaning. How about giving an honest nod, though, to what moms do provide in order to make that day — plus all the other Sundays (and Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) happen for their families?

Sure, it was heartwarming to see dads get some love, even if it was to the tune of a song about the worst father of all time (“Cat’s in the Cradle?” Really, Nissan?). But what would have really gotten the waterworks flowing would have been to see the heroic measures taken by so many moms to ensure the men on the field were well cared for off the field as the first most important women in their lives. Dads aren’t always in the picture (as Nissan so bizarrely pointed out), but moms usually are.

We work, provide, clothe, feed, nurture, console, tickle, hand-hold, commiserate, step back and push forward. And during football games — amateur and professional — we cheer, too. We are way more than just suppliers of chips and salsa. To see that recognized gracefully and humorously — and in a big, splashy way — is an idea that has arrived, even if it hasn’t been made to happen yet.

Commercials during the Big Game have come a long way, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have a long way to go.

Image and video courtesy of YouTube

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