Over the last decade or so there has been a trend in advertising that for the most part portrays men, father’s, as complete idiots when it comes to handling anything related to fatherhood, marriage, household chores, etc. The ads are supposed to be humorous, and in some cases are, but for the most part the men represented come off like complete fools. The kind of complete fool that makes you ask “Why did that person marry them in the first place?”, and “How the hell does this guy hold down a job if he can’t even figure out how to change a fucking diaper?”. So when Cheerios dropped there new TV spot for peanut butter Cheerios earlier this month I jumped for joy. Why? Because dad isn’t some lazy, ignorant, lame ass, jackwagon.
The new spot which is aimed squarely at dads features a well written script, an actor that knows how to deliver in a light hearted way yet still comes off like someone that has his shit together, and an authoritative male voice that is aimed straight at you. By that I mean the actor never takes his eyes off of the audience as he walks through the spot delivering dialog about how he has it together. Here we have a spot that shows a male figure capable of multitasking. Capable of controlling the situation. Capable. as opposed to the dad staring at the refrigerator wondering where the food comes from while the voice over from his wife plays him as a fool.
In this spot we have dad who is funny without being condescending, or stereotypically macho. Dad can’t control everything, but with a little help from Cheerios, he can. All the characters, especially the father figure come from a place of strength and support. There is a positive message here that runs fully against so much of the messaging in advertising that says, dad can’t do laundry, clean the house, feed the kids, get them to school, make the bed, and yes that is a dominant message in the majority of TV ads. It’s easy, so people use it. This spot however has a socially positive message that I find much easier to take, and much easier to get behind.
So kudos to General Mills and their agency of record for creating a spot that actually features a dad you would want to hang out with.