Let me start this post off by saying Happy Father’s Day to all the men trying to be the best parents they can be to their children.
Now, let me follow that up with a Happy Father’s Day to all the single mothers who are (and have been) essentially pulling double duty. You deserve recognition on this day, too. Even though I’m pretty sure you’re cool with skipping the tacky neckties and the cheesy mugs that read World’s Best Dad.
As a product of a single-parent home, I’ve endured for years the endless barrage of marketing messages extolling the virtues of fatherhood that surround this day. Each year, I’m left wondering why the heck no one has bothered to thank the moms who happen to be “dads,” too. That is until this year when this lovely gem popped up.
Not gonna lie. I was overjoyed when I first saw this ad from Deutsch, LA for Angel Soft bath tissue. Finally, someone gets there’s a niche out here that has not being fully explored, represented or fully targeted. Yeah, the documentary style is a bit played out in today’s ad space. Yes, it may rely a little too heavily on outdated gender roles as the author of this Ad Age article points out. But gosh, is it ever so refreshingly different.
I’d even go so far as to defend the gender stereotypes by first asking, “What more do you expect from a marketing message built around a gender-stereotypical holiday?” We’ve traditionally celebrated fathers as disciplinarians, emotionally aloof partners and tough-as-nails men. Yes, you can cynically look down on the spot for not being bold enough to lead the charge for change. But, I wager that you fundamentally miss the fact that its boldness comes from having the courage to admit not everyone has that stereotypical father figure to celebrate. Especially when a majority of content is going the other way.
Second, as a professional familiar with the Angel Soft brand, I can tell you that the juxtaposition of strength, softness and value is the USP here. It only makes sense that the brand would want a spot that clearly puts this juxtaposition in the forefront. Mom was the nurturing parent (“soft”), the tough-as-nails parent (“strength”), and we recognize the greatness in that (“value”).
In short, I say good on you Angel Soft and Deutsch, LA. Thank you for making advertising and marketing a bit more representative of the real world.