Thursday, October 27, 2011

Marketing To Dads: #Tide Gets it Right

There has been a lot of talk recently about how companies are marketing to dads.  From a recent article on Ad Age to CC Chapman's go-around with Ragu, companies are starting to realize the power of marketing to dads.  Just a few weeks ago, I saw a commercial for Tide laundry detergent that really impressed me.

realmattdaddy WOW! #TIDE has a stay at home dad commercial that is awesome! Anyone else see it after #theamazingrace ?

realmattdaddy  Did you see #TIDE's new #SAHD commercial? Finally, a company that "gets it"! Will try to find and post to my blog.
 I contacted Tide, and got them to upload the two "dad" commercials to their YouTube channel so that I could comment on them today.

There are two "dad" commercials that Tide has recently aired, and I think they perfectly demonstrate the transition that brands are making when marketing to dads.  Everyone has seen commercials with a dad as an idiot, a dummy or a lout.  But what market researchers are realizing is that dads have started to reclaim more buying power, make more buying decisions and have more input into daily household spending on items like food and clothing.

The first commercial is an example of what a company or agency "thinks" a market wants to see.  This video shows dad, or "Dad Mom" as it is titled, in a comical approach to his position as stay-at-home father.

Things I like about this video:

1. It's funny. This is mostly a comment on the acting and writing of the commercial, especially with the "boom" added in there.

Things I don't like about this video:

1. What the heck is a Dad-Mom?
I think this phrase shows that companies are struggling with how to define "dad" to their audience.  Most likely, they have been marketing to moms for so long that they have forgotten what it is that good dads do - everything that moms do except give birth!  So, their first choice is to frame dad in terms of mom.  Why isn't he just "Dad"?

2. Dad is obsessed with being "awesome"
I know this is meant to be funny, but in reality, by the time most of us become dads, we only care about one thing, being an awesome dad.  This really doesn't come through in this commercial.

3. Dad thinks he's a "sex symbol"
This is obviously meant to be funny, and I'm sure there are some dads who think this way.  But when we're leaving the mall with vomit on our shirt and our sick kid in tow, we don't feel very sexy.  And being sexy isn't our main objective - raising our kids is our priority.  Hopefully, our wives still find it sexy though.

4. Other dads are "astonished with his ability to dress a four year old"
No we're not.  We do it too.

5. "Frilliest Girl Dress"
Who talks like that, first of all? And secondly, as opposed to the frilliest boy dress?  We're not dumb.

6. "Nurturing abilities of my laundry detergent"
This doesn't even make sense!

7. "Pull ups and crunches"
Why isn't he going to check on his kids?  This ad basically shows how the dad is using his "stay-at-home dadness" as a way to fulfill something for himself, and serve his own desires.  I don't think this is the attitude most dads, especially at-home dads have.  We do what we do for our kids, not ourselves.

This is the commercial I saw on CBS a few weeks ago, and I believe that this is one of the best "dad" commercials I have ever seen.

 What I like about this ad:

1.  "I'm a stay at home dad"
I would have liked it more if it was just "I'm a dad" but I'll take what I can get.

2. The dad is knowledgeable
"Doing laundry is classic problem solving" - most dads like to solve problems.  Dad knows what amazing clothes look like.  He cares about the job he is doing.

3. The dad is a hero
He may not be the traditional "save the woman from the train tracks" kind of hero, but to his wife and family, he is an example.

4. Dad doesn't have to know everything
The commercial is realistic.  "See this thing here?" (in reference to the sun dress)

5. Dad gets me time... and it is spent with his kids!
THIS IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!  Me time is kid time.

6. Dad knows the important things
"Herringbone or fishtail?"

What do you think about this commercial?  Have you seen other brands start to target dads in a positive way?  See another dad's take on the same commercial.


  1. Fabulous post sir. It's good to be a Dad doing laundry, or at least have them marketing to us in a respectful manner.

  2. Thanks for this. There is a good commercial for Act Fluoride Rinse. I have sent them an email as I have been unable to find it online.

    It is nice to see a shift starting to happen.

  3. Thanks for the post. Good stuff. Years ago I spoke with a Babies R Us rep. "Why don't you market to the dads?" She answered, "The moms spend the money." I answered, "But many dads earn the money so their wives can spend the money. And dads will also walk into your store if there was something manly to buy.... How about a Dad's Lounge in the store with products that connect the baby to dads?" She thought I was being sexist. Well, today with the increase in the at-home dad population men are spending their working wives' money. :) I hope I live long enough to see a Dad's Lounge in Babies R Us.

  4. I was literally just thinking how that was a great commercial and it seemed like they had learned from others' mistakes.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys! Keep on being awesome dads!

    @DaddyMojo - If I didn't start a new part time job last night, you might not have beat me to the punch with your post, lol. Great dad minds think alike!

    Hope to see all of you at #DadChat tonight at 9PM EST on Twitter!

  6. It's nice to finally be recognized for what we stay at home dads are. Equals to stay at home mom's in every way. Sexism is a women's issue when it comes to the mom dad thing, our kids don't have that issue. So hopefully more and more baby, toddler and kid products will be targeted for dads.

    1. Hey, Anonymous, we're a friendly bunch around here. Feel free to leave a first name next time we don't have to be so impersonal with you. Unless, of course, your name is Anonymous Jones. Then I apologize.



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