What This Daddy Blogger Would Love To Make Taboo

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

I missed the Dad 2.0 Summit this year; which is basically the official annual conference for daddy bloggers.

Conveniently, The New York Times published an article on their website a few days ago, which does a great job of filling me in on the conversations that took place there without me.

While I wish I would have known about Dad 2.0 Summit beforehand, because I totally would have flown out to Houston to been a part of it as I am now marking my calendar for next year, at the same time it sort of sounds like the main takeaway from Dad 2.0 is the same point I have been writing about for years now on The Dadabase:

Dads don’t want to be seen as idiots who make messes and who are sub-par parents.

It’s subtle, yet very present in media. I feel that there are still too many companies getting it wrong. Allow me to critique the Robitussin commercial featured at the top of this post, for example.

Of this 17 second commercial, the first 2 seconds are done right.

We are introduced to a mom and dad who are together putting their baby to sleep. They lovingly look at each other as if to mutually say, “I love you and our new addition to our family.”

But then, from 0:03 to 0:06, the dad coughs, waking the baby and earning a frustrated and disapproving look from his wife. By 0:07, we see the dad give his wife a pat on the back right before he walks away to go grab some Robitussin for his cough, seen from 0:10 to 0:12.

There is some resolve by 0:13, when the dad returns, this time not coughing, as the mom is able to lay down the now sleeping baby in the crib.

Okay, so that commercial wasn’t horrible, but it needs some revisions to earn the respect of dads like me.

If they had to make it to where the dad coughs and wakes up the baby, he could have appeared to be less of a [jerk] if, when he came back from taking the Robitussin, he took the baby from his wife, allowing her to go back to bed, then putting the baby to sleep himself.

When you really consider the role of the dad in this commercial, all he really did besides just stand there, was that he made life  harder for his wife.

And seriously, pause this commercial on 0:05. Check out the look on the wife’s face…

No husband ever wants to receive that look from his wife.

Like I said a month ago in All I Ever Wanted Was To Be A Dad,” Said Few Men Ever, as your dad, I gain a lot of confidence and self-worth by knowing that I am doing a good job of supporting you and Mommy.

But when I see a commercial like this, I am not offended, but I do think, “There’s just another dad-bashing commercial feeding into concept that the housewife desperately needs another product because of the mess her husband made.”

Part of my passion as a daddy blogger is attempting to make it taboo for dads to be portrayed as the classic idiot in ads. I’m not even asking to be seen as the hero. I’ll take neutral at this point.





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  1. by Lydia Beiler

    On March 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I’m not a dad (obviously) but I totally agree that dads get bashed way too much. My husband is a great man and a wonderful, top-notch dad. I think the dad/man bashing only makes it harder for men to actually have the confidence to well in their roles which I think is incredibly sad.

    Thank you for taking a stand for dads everywhere!

  2. by Meredith

    On March 18, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Tide has a new line of commercials you might like where the Dad gets his kids clothes clean by using Tide. The kids aren’t messy because the dad screwed up, they’re messy because they’re kids. Honestly you could switch the dad out for the mom and the commercials would be the same. As a mom I actually really like them. I don’t think dads are bumbling idiots, I know my husband isn’t.

  3. [...] Father’s Day piece entitled “D Is For Dad And Dumb,” or those stereotypical Robitussin commercials where the dad can’t help but wake the baby with all his annoying [...]

  4. [...] (Plus, it helps the company to lavish in the fact that I’m not a doofus dad like traditional commercials portray me, like in this Robitussin commercial.) [...]