Over the last few years my wife and I have really loved having so much great local produce available to us from some wonderful farmer’s markets, roadside stands, CSAs and co-ops in the area.
It’s been particularly nice because, despite big dreams and great intentions, our ability to actually grow food ourselves has been . . . well, not without its highs, but mostly a bit of a gong show.
While I wouldn’t exactly say we have green thumbs, it’s not that we don’t know what we’re doing. What it really comes down to are the twin problems of a lack of space (we live in a small apartment, with only a small patio available for us to use) and that what space we have is not very conducive even to container gardening, as it gets very little direct sunlight (maybe 5 hours on a clear, sunny day). Herbs do okay, and we’ve been told we could grow lettuce (OH BOY! LETTUCE!). But anything more than that has just not really done very well. . .
After listening to our feedback, Huggies has gone back and remade the commercials from their “Dad Test” series of advertisements, to make clear that it is the DIAPERS being tested, not the DADS.
Below is the a special preview for the new version of the “Easy Chair” ad, which will begin airing on Monday, March 26th. I’ve been given permission to share it with you all! 🙂
Kudos to them for making such a big change and taking seriously the opportunity to show real, involved, competent and confident dads with their babies.
I look forward to seeing the rest of the newly revised campaign.
(NOTE: You can still see the old version of the “Easy Chair” ad here for comparison, though I don’t know for how long.)
No one makes change on their own, but small voices together can make big changes.
A clever graphic can explain and spread an idea faster than a hundred well thought out blog posts.
A petition’s worthy cause isn’t newsworthy, but a petition actually working? Oh yes.
Dads’ voices matter, and more and more people and corporations are recognizing that.
Sometimes recognizing good intentions and maintaining respectful dialogue gets better results than demonizing.
More men than you would think are not just unoffended by dumb-dad stereotypes, but invested in them continuing. Mostly to get out of diaper duty.
The greatest advocates that dads can have is moms. Until moms demand better of advertising in how they portray dads, it won’t really change.
The most reluctant to give up their stereotype about dads is . . . also moms. Some seem more interested in protecting the freedom to mock their husbands’ parenting abilities than in helping their husband be a more able, involved parent.
No, seriously, there are actually people out there in the world who are so loyal to their brand of diapers that they will send you hate mail for daring to make a complaint about them. Whodathunkit?
I have a thicker skin than I thought.
Dear friends and supporters,
I am incredibly happy to report to you that the people at Huggies/Kimberly-Clark have heard your voices, and are responding in real, impactful ways. You may have already heard this, but I hope to give you a little bit more information.
Before explaining more, I want to thank you so much for all of your support.
Thank you for signing the petition, for sharing it, for posting on Twitter and Facebook and even Pinterest, and for your calls and emails to Huggies/Kimberly-Clark. This could not have happened without people like you, who agreed that simply because this was “just” an ad campaign for diapers, or meant as a “joke,” or because there are bigger issues in the world, didn’t mean that the problem should be ignored.
So, here’s the good news…
One of the more frustrating aspects of the last few days being this accidental activist has been the feeling of being completely ignored by the people who you are trying to engage.
I understand all of the issues involved, sure. Give us attention and you give our petition more legitimacy. And after the PR nightmare cause by the initial Huggies “background information” on their insulting ad campaign which made this so much worse, I understand not wanting to do that again.
But for a company that has made such a point of declaring how much they love dads and appreciate our equal parenting role, the silence has been rather deafening.
So when this was posted to the official Huggies Facebook page this afternoon it was very welcome:
To Anyone Who Cares at Huggies / Kimberly-Clark,
As you probably know, as of a few minutes ago, our petition asking you to end your “Dad Test” ad campaign reached over 1000 signatures.
That’s 1000 people, customers and potential customers, men and women, dads and moms, kids and grandparents, all saying “Huggies, we do not accept that this is okay!”
When will you acknowledge that you messed this one up and take steps to make it right? How long will you keep ignoring us? At this point your good intentions are irrelevant, and your form letter a slap in the face.
We don’t want a boycott. We don’t want coupons. We don’t want this replaced with a commercial that trumps up a dad who competently changes diapers into Super Dad.
We just want dialogue with a company who will treat us like equally capable parents, and equally valuable customers.
To anyone reading this who thinks that this “Dad Test” is outrageous and unacceptable, please visit, read, and sign the petition. They can ignore us on here, but in numbers we can get the message through.
Please sign the petition, and share it with anyone you know who is tired of seeing fathers treated like dummies. Even well-meaning or loving dummies.
This show called Octonauts premiered fairly recently on Disney Junior, based on a series of adorable books by some fantastic and inspiring artists that call themselves Meomi. It quickly became a favorite in our household. It looks great, it’s fun, actually interesting, and just downright cute.
But I could never quite get it out of my head though that there was something might familiar about Captain Barnacles Bear and the Octonauts. I finally figured out why.
This week Huggies unleashed its new dad-centric “Ultimate Dad Test” commercials, and they’ve ignited another mini-firestorm.
First of all, Huggies, I want to say what you got right here. Like in this video (sorry, can’t embed Facebook videos).
The dads in the commercials look like real dads, and are actually displaying a level of competence and general daddy-baby affection that is, frankly, rarely seen. The image of these guys with their content, sleeping, well-fed babies is really nice. So good job on that. I don’t know who these guys are, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are all actual dads with their babies. Nice. Yeah, five guys with five babies is going to be a chaotic scene at times too, which we see, and kudos for showing what parenting really looks like: controlled chaos. On first viewing the two videos you have posted both seem pretty good. Cute, even.
So no, the problem isn’t in what you have the dads doing or how they are parenting, it’s in the whole concept of the campaign.