Fatherhood on Friday: Super Bowl dadvertising shows some #RealStrength

dad2summitFatherhood on Friday, Uncategorized

They say there’s no crying in baseball (and we may test that theory after pitchers and catchers report in a couple weeks), but until then we can confirm that there is crying in (and after) football—much of it a direct result of the many dad-friendly commercials that aired during the Big Game last Sunday.

We’ve been talking for weeks about dads and their prominent role in the collective advertising of Super Bowl XLIX. We knew it was coming, and we were still blown away. Dads were everywhere, and this time with feeling!

(Note: Are we going to devote this third paragraph to say how much we loved seeing Dove Men+Care’s #RealStrength ad on the world’s biggest stage? You bet your sweet bippy we are. This spot made us very proud, because we see it as the result of the four years of support Dove Men+Care has given us, since the very beginning. They’ve been championing dads long before it was cool, and the tens of millions of #RealStrength impressions during the game are richly deserved.)

Dads—tender, kind, and strong—are in the conversation like never before, and here’s some of what the Internet is saying:

  • “Was there a “please include heartwarming dad stuff” memo?” asks E Online’s Jenna Mullins. She has a point, because a lot of those dad ads are total tear-jerkers, and you know it.
  • Leigh Weingus at The Huffington Post agreed, “But what really stood out was the emotional, grab-the-tissues “dadvertising.”” And yes, we totally accept “dadvertising” as a real word.
  • Carter Gaddis shared his thoughts on the portrayal of men at Life of Dad, noting that “social media buzzed Sunday night with all the “feels” being elicited by these largely sentimental appeals to our emotional common denominator as parents,” and he thinks that it is a big step on fatherhood’s evolutionary ladder.
  • In case you thought the tears were reserved for just those of us watching the ads, Boston.com reports that New England Patriots’ star receiver Julian Edelman had a touching, emotional moment after the game when he said about his own father: “He dedicated his life to his kids to let us live our dreams. I love my dad.”
  • Does all this talk of sentiment and open emotion make you uncomfortable? It shouldn’t. Andrew Reiner at The Washington Post wrote an article about his mission “to have male crying be socially acceptable.”

Judging by the strength of the Super Bowl ads, we think it already is.

We end this weekly update with a warm welcome and congratulatory nod to Larry Wilmore, the host of the new Comedy Central program The Nightly Show. Mr. Wilmore had big shoes to fill when his series replaced the beloved Colbert Report, but he’s off to a great start. Earlier this week, Wilmore and his panel discussed the state of black fatherhood in America. They kept it 100. After all, there may be strength in owning our emotions, but there is no weak tea in fatherhood.

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