Breaking the Gender Barrier: Part III

We’ve shown you “femvertising” and gender equality in children’s campaigns, but three’s company! So what about the often-neglected third player… men?

In recent years, the term “Dadvertising” has been gaining traction in the advertising world, but what is it? Creative Culture takes a look at some powerful “Dadverts” from around the world.

Feel the love
For Father’s Day 2013, baby brand Huggies launched an experiential campaign that gave Argentinian dads a chance to literally feel the miracle of pregnancy. Though mums are traditionally the main targets for baby brands, it’s nice to see Huggies shining some spotlight on dads – after all, over the last few decades and in quite a few cultures around the world, they have become more and more involved in the choices that the family makes regarding their new addition.

Show your strength
In the world of advertising, men are often depicted as rugged, strong individuals.  In their 2015 advert for the US, Dove played off this generalisation, reminding us all that strength is more than just physical. Combatting the too-often used image of “helpless” dads, the advert shows just how important fathers can be. Unlike brands like Axe – who generally target younger, single men – Dove has been looking to stand with the dads of the world.

Anything for love?
McDonald’s recent Australian advert takes a more humorous look at fatherhood. Any parent knows that they would do anything for their child… well, almost anything. In 2015, the fast-food chain began introducing their “Create your taste” menu across the globe, filled with “New Grown-up Ingredients”. For a brand that is associated with Happy Meals and clowns, they said it best themselves: “How very un-McDonald’s”. Following the trend of popular chains like Chipotle – and in a push for greater transparency – some restaurants will even feature “Burger Bars”, where diners can watch their burger being made. This new menu, along with other changes, helped the brand to see strong growth in Australia, as well as a 4.2% increase in international sales. 

A beautiful lie
Thailand has earned Asia a reputation for tear-jerking commercials, and MetLife Hong Kong made sure to follow suit when shooting their 2015 advert. Viewers play witness to the emotional story of a single dad and the struggles he goes through to make ends meet. A tribute to single dads everywhere, the juxtaposition of the visuals with the narration from the young daughter makes it hard not to feel emotional. Six different versions of the advert were shot and launched across various Asian markets.

Daddy’s girl
We featured Ariel in part one of this series, and it’s safe to say that their push for gender equality is still going strong. In their 2016 advert for the #ShareTheLoad campaign, we see feminism from a father’s eyes. As he watches his daughter bear the brunt of household responsibilities, a voice over reveals his apology – to his daughter and to women everywhere. His pledge reminds fathers that they too can help further gender equality – if not for their wives, than at least for their daughters. In a country where the lives of baby girls are often put in danger, this is a powerful statement to help close the gender gap.

While there are certainly differences between cultures around the world, the rise of the modern dad – one who has more involvement in family life – has seen brands taking the opportunity to celebrate the dads in all of our lives. Gender equality isn’t just about women getting more rights; it’s also a call for men to play a bigger role in the home life. The idea of a hands-on dad isn’t necessarily “new”, but as these few adverts demonstrate, it’s certainly making a big comeback.

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