Wednesday, September 19, 2012

#Dadvertising: @Yoplait's Go-Gurt "Gets It" Mostly Right

What can I say about this commercial for Yoplait's Go-Gurt?  So many things - and they're mostly good!  I saw this while watching NBC's "Go On" last night (which was unexpectedly funny, and has a great supporting cast).  I know this commercial has been out for a while, but this was the first time I have seen it.  And while other dads may disagree with my assessment, I found a lot of good in this commercial.  My only complaint is the first two notes, which appear to be from his wife, as the first is addressed to "Hon."  This implies that it might not be normal for dad to be packing lunch.  The commercial would be much cuter if all of the notes were from the kid.  That said, there was a lot of good in this ad.

1. Dad is the only parent in the commercial.

We don't see this often enough in advertising.  This is a reality for a lot of American families.  Even when mom isn't the primary breadwinner, she may have a part time job that means dad gas to get the kids off to school.  Plus, there are a lot of divorced and single dads that are doing this work every day.  It is good to see that reflected in advertising.  Why?  Because it means that companies are paying attention to who is buying their product.  They care about how you spend your dollars (obviously, they want you to spend it with them), and they will do whatever is necessary (lower prices, change packaging, run commercials) to reach the audience that is most likely to buy their product.  Companies paying attention to you may seem like a bad thing, but when something goes wrong, or when a product fails to meet a standard that you have come to expect, wouldn't you rather have a company that listens to its customers?

2. Dad is packing lunch for his son.

We need to see dads doing more of this in television, movies, and advertising.  You may think that this is not a big deal.  But I believe that we are part of a society that expects very little of their men.  We don't expect men to be great fathers anymore.  We consider it "special" or "exceptional" behavior and not the "norm."  I, personally, believe that this has a great deal to do with modern advertising.  Companies have spent so much time and money telling women that they can be powerful and men that they can be bumbling idiots.  I'm not saying that some of these commercials weren't funny along the way, but at what cost?  We now have a society full of women that don't need (or sometimes even want) to have an active father in their child's life - and we have fathers who are satisfied to just earn a paycheck and not be actively involved in their home.  Seeing more images like this one would go a long what to help change expectations in our society.  It would be difficult to maintain the perception that you don't have to be involved if you were seeing involved fathers in a larger percentage of the thousands of advertisements, TV shows, and movies we consume on a daily basis.

3. Dad knows his child.

"Duh." says dad when his son asks if there is Go-Gurt in his lunch.  Dad knows his child's needs (lunch) and wants (Go-Gurt).  It is impossible to know your child's needs and wants without some sort of active relationship with them.  In this case, the son also plays a game with his dad leaving sticky notes around the kitchen to make sure that he gets his Go-Gurt.  There is playful interaction between father and son (even if it is indirectly through sticky notes).  This might be the most powerful statement in the entire commercial.  Dad doesn't say, "Duh" directly to his son, but after his son has run off, as if to imply that he would have known what his kid wanted, even without the helpful sticky notes.  

Have you seen any other good examples of #Dadvertising lately?


  1. Totally agree Matt. Dads are over looked by brands all the time, especially in TV commercials. This one was fair, accurate and humorous without making dads look like the butt of the joke. Thanks for calling attention to this spot.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out. You make a really good case for this being good dadvertising - and maybe it's more good than bad. I think the main issue I had was that yes, dad is shown to be making lunch, but he's still being treated like a know-nothing. There's a fine line between good comedy and bad image. So, which side did this commercial fall on? I think we both have valid arguments. And I think we can both agree that it's got some good points that definitely make it not the worst dadvertising!

  3. Agree. Good Ad. And positive. I don't think you can say that the notes from mom mean that dad doesn't pack lunch often. More likely that dad is used to packing twinkies and might not remember that they have GoGurt.

    On another note, I got some GoGurt for a camping trip thinking it would be easy and neat. My son made a mess of it. So did my wife, which made her the but of one of those jokes that toddlers won't get for a while...


  4. I think it's a good commercial and I agree with you.
    But, although I think this is a vast improvement over the "dad is a moronic, helpless child" ad's that are so prevalent (can't tell you how happy I was to spell "prevalent" correctly on the first shot!) in the media, I think a better message would be one showing mom and dad working together. Somehow we have lost the message that both parents can be great parents and that the strongest parenting is done by a team working together. Dad is not a substitute for mom. His value doesn't kick in because she isn't around. Both are valuable and most impactful when both are present working together to raise their kid.

  5. It's been around for a while, but I just happened to see it. This year's TV season is going to be interesting. Networks are trying to capture the interest in "family" and "dads" with a lot of new shows, but some of them are falling flat. We are in the tunnel, and there is light at the end... especially when Up All Night returns to NBC.

  6. YAY! You're back! I think most of us who fight for the cause of dad would agree with you. We don't want dads to be portrayed at the expense of moms, but equal billing of everyone working together would be nice.

  7. Great, I'm a single dad and this is the first commercial for us dads. bravo bravo. James oklahoma city.



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