Thursday, December 15th, 2011
You should be receiving your January 2012 issue of Parents magazine any day now. In fact, it may already be lying there on your coffee table. If you happen to turn to page 79, you will find something that really shocked me. I mean, seriously, I wasn’t expecting this.
It’s what I call a “dad ad,” promoting Baby Orajel. The subtle advertisement features a dad awake at 2:27 AM with his infant, who is obviously suffering from teething issues.
I don’t know, maybe it takes being a dad to really appreciate what a monumental move this was on Orajel’s part to take a chance on an ad like this. We dads are used to being portrayed in advertisements as the goofy idiot having to be corrected and tolerated by his wife.
Not this time.
The text of the Orajel ad doesn’t even reach out specifically to dads; that’s actually one of my favorite things about it. Simply by featuring a picture of a man involving himself in a sacrificial late night parenting activity, the message is sent:
“We at Baby Orajel recognize that dads play a big part in this thing too. So we’re not leaving you out of this. Here’s your pat on the back. Good job, fellas.”
One of my favorite classes in high school was Marketing 101. That’s where I learned that fast food restaurants feature yellow and red in their logos to subconsciously cause you to “slow down” and “stop” when you’re driving towards them.
I love the whole behind-the-scenes aspect of marketing. My wife and I both are huge fans of Mad Men; so I can’t help but picture the ad agency for Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (the company that evidently owns Orajel) sitting down in a board room and talking about the risk of featuring a dad ad in Parents magazine.
Will it be worth it? I think so.
For one, I’m taking the time to further feature this ad on Parents.com and the link to this post will ultimately be tossed around on Twitter and Facebook as well.
But second, for what it’s worth, I think it’s important to note the demographics of the people who “liked” The Dadabase Facebook fan page. As the sole administrator, I’m able to see the details: 75% of Dadabase fans are female and 25% are male.
If we assume that information translates to the demographics of who reads The Dadabase, it means that one out of every four readers is a dude. A dude who is ignoring ads directed towards to women. (I know I do.)
Thirdly, Baby Orajel’s dad ad has inspired me to start “Dad Ad Alert.” For the remaining 11 issues of Parents magazine in the year 2012, I will gladly further feature any dad ads here on The Dadabase. I’ll be specifically looking for them now.
The same goes for if I happen to notice a dad ad here on here on Parents.com. Game on.
Dad ad: An advertisement that is directed specifically to fathers, as opposed to mothers; which is expected in a parenting magazine or website.
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