This week, Similac released a new campaign video that has been getting a lot of attention, and with good reason. It’s funny, it’s touching, and it sends a fantastic message about parenting: that we’re all in this together, and judging one another helps no one.
It’s really quite fantastic… right up until the last second, when they drop the ball. At least, if the idea is actually to support all parents.
I may have mentioned on here once or twice about that my 6 year-old Tucker has, for some time now, had his sights set on a future career as an astronaut. The dream lives on, and so I was really excited to be able to share with him yesterday in the excitement over the successful landing of the Philae lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
Part of the reason Tucker was excited about this mission is because the ESA (European Space Agency) created a fantastic animated series about it, that we have watched together a few times.
I don’t know why it just occurred to me to share this here, but if you have a kid who is curious what all the excitement is about, give these a watch together. You just might learn something too. 🙂
Part 1: Fabulous Fables and Tales of Tails
Part 2: Once Upon a Time…
Part 3: Are We There Yet?
Part 4: Preparing for Comet Landing
Now that Philae has landed on the surface, hopefully they put together some adorable animation about that too soon. If they do, I’ll be sure to add it here!
Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to produce an animated movie that looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in a major production. I just love the look of this movie, foregoing the recent “as photo realistic as possible” trend in animation and instead drawing deeply on the rich mythology and visual style of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to make something truly unique and beautiful.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what director Jorge Gutierrez has put together. Word is that when he started work on this film, he said to his designers and animators that his goal was to have the final movie live up to the incredible conceptual art that he so often saw in “The Art of…” books for many movies, but never seemed to make it to the final screen. From the looks of things, he has succeeded.
My boys wanted to do the #IceBucketChallenge to #StrikeOutALS. Stick around for some surprise guests!
Thanks to Auntie Melodie for the challenge!
Be sure to visit http://ALSA.org and DONATE!
When I was asked if I would be interested in making a fun video interviewing my son about space to help celebrate the release of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on DVD and Blu-Ray, you can bet I jumped at that chance.
Mother’s Day is, as you may have heard, coming up quickly. My friends at Starbucks and Life of Dad have put out the challenge to see who can wrangle his kids to show their mom just how awesome she is, and prove himself the real #LatteRomeo. And what better way than with breakfast in bed?
Apparently, even super-talented, well-meaning guys still fall back on tired, harmful stereotypes when Mother’s Day rolls around and they want to pander to moms and sell videos to churches.
Too cynical? Maybe. You decide for yourself.
Here’s the latest from “The Skit Guys,” two long-time friends who have made a career out of writing, producing, and starring in family-friendly, faith-inspired videos.
I just love this gorgeously animated open letter to JJ Abrams, about how to make Star Wars great again, produced by a bunch of local PDX creatives called Sincerely Truman. As the father to two young boys who are, inevitably, spiraling deeper into the depths of Star Wars love and knowledge, I hope JJ is able to do something really special.
Super well done, guys.
This is a warning cloaked in a love letter. Our shot over the bow aimed at Disney and the team behind the upcoming Star Wars films. This is our chance to redeem Star Wars. JJ Abrams, please don’t mess this up.
Voice your support at www.dearjjabrams.com
Last week during the premiere of Modern Dads, A&E Network’s new reality series about a group of stay-at-home dad friends, I was following along on Twitter to see what people thought of the show. Beyond my happiness to see that, for the most part, the show itself seems to be a real step in the right direction in how at-home dads are portrayed on television, I was also happy to see several people mention a Bounty paper towels commercial that aired during the show and featured a positive portrayal of a dad too.
I finally managed to track it down, and I have to agree, this is really nice.
What I love about it is pretty basic: There’s no “Doofus Dad” element, no eye-rolling or killjoy spouse, no smart-ass kids showing dad how to use a paper towel, and no outward attempt to make a big deal that this is a dad with his kids at all. It’s just a dad spending quality time with his kids, competently managing a messy situation, and knowing what’s what. This is exactly the kind of thing I hope to see more and more.
So, kudos to Bounty for this one. Great job. Keep it up!
I’m not exactly a coffee connoisseur, but sometimes I like to pretend I am.
You know, the guy who only buys his beans whole, then coarsely grinds just enough for a single pot at a time, brewed in a French press — of course! — to preserve the natural oils and what-not.
(Then I add a lot of flavored creamer, and lose all credibility.)
I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to have a chat with Heidi Murkoff, author of the What To Expect series, talking about dads in the media.
Joining us were some other voices in the dad world, including Matt Schneider and Lance Somerfeld, founders of the NYC Dads group, author, producer and actor Dan Bucatinsky, media consultant and daddy blogger Benjamin Floyd, author and MIT professor Don Unger, teacher and blogger Seth Taylor, and author and cancer fightin’ advocate Jim Higley.
Heidi is a strong advocate for dads, I am happy to say, and it was a great conversation:
Nicely done, Oral-B, with your new Power of Dad ad!
I hope you’ll consider making this an ongoing campaign rather than just a Father’s Day thing. We dads need to clean our teeth the rest of the year too!
Can you believe it’s been over a year now since the whole “Huggies Thing”? Me neither. I’ll have to write about that soon.
But in the meantime, I heard from Huggies late last week with a sneak peak of the video above, the first ad in their new Test Town campaign.
They specifically wanted to send it to me, because what you see above is (I’m told) the direct result of conversations between the people at Huggies (including their PR and ad people) and dads like myself who were concerned about how they are going about portraying 21st century families. My main feedback to them, beyond the outright “Don’t make us look like idiots, please!” was the pie-in-the-sky idea that really, dads are not looking for diaper ads just about dads. We don’t want to be a curiosity. We just want to see a dad changing his kid’s diaper (and cleaning, and playing, and everything else) to be as normal and as natural as seeing a mom do it. Don’t draw attention to it being DADS doing it. Just show families doing what families do: share the parenting load!
Suffice to say, I am really happy with the result, and I look forward to seeing the rest of the campaign.
Please take a moment and send @Huggies a tweet to tell them how much you appreciate their efforts to not only right the wrongs of dad portrayals from last year, but to go after a higher bar.
(Gettin’ this posted before April 1 to avoid disbelief. ;-))
I love how dad doesn’t have the cutesy “Dad Mom” nickname.
I love how dad isn’t called a “stay-at-home dad” at all. He’s just a dad! Does he stay home? Is he single? Is he doing this on the weekend? Guess what? It doesn’t matter. Dads of all stripes do laundry, it turns out, not just the ones who are forced to do it. The non-specificity is great.
I love how the daughter is shown loving to dress like a fairy princess and have tea parties, but also likes dressing like the sheriff. Take that, Princess Culture!
And I love how dad isn’t just shown as competent with the laundry, but also with his parenting solutions!
I’ve written before about how Tide has come so close, but missed the mark. I’m so happy to see that they didn’t stop trying, and have put together one of the most accurate depictions of what dads in the 21st century look like that I’ve seen in ages. Kudos to whoever at Tide and Downy was involved in this.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some laundry to do.
I’m finding it really hard to sum up, or maybe even just wrap my head around, the weekend in Houston that was the Dad 2.0 Summit.
I’m not sure what I expected, going in, but I feel pretty confident that whatever I was expecting would have been pretty lame compared to what I actually got.
To understand my experience I’ll steal an object lesson from BusyDadBlog himself, Jim Lin, in saying that I sort of wore three hats to Dad 2.0…
Sometimes the media just gets it right.
Today’s excellent Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger is one such time.
It’s a very welcome, public, and strong piece about the very things us lowly dad-bloggers have been saying for a long, long time now.
Kudos to all the dads interviewed, especially my friend Lance from the NYC Dads Group!
Mr. Mom is dead.
At least, the pop-culture image of the inept dad who wouldn't know a diaper genie from a garbage disposal has begun to fade. In his place, research shows, is emerging a new model of at-home fatherhood that puts a distinctly masculine stamp on child-rearing and home life.
At-home dads aren't trying to be perfect moms, says a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Instead, they take pride in letting their children take more risks on the playground, compared with their spouses. They tend to jettison daily routines in favor of spontaneous adventures with the kids. And many use technology or DIY skills to squeeze household budgets, or find shortcuts through projects and chores, says the study, based on interviews, observation of father-child outings and an analysis of thousands of pages of at-home dads' blogs and online commentary.
Check out this great video that went with the article:
You can read the rest of the article here!
With all of my complaints about portrayals of dads in the media recently, it behooves me not to also speak up when a company gets it so, so right.
Check out this new ad for the Volkswagon Polo.
It’s my understanding that this is a car that is only sold in Europe, and whether they think an ad like this would play well here in North America, I don’t know. But they did a great job, and I hope other companies are paying attention.
Well done, VW. Well done.
“Did you see the new ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ trailer with the ‘Dudes Group’ in it? What do you think? You must be pretty outraged, huh?”
I’ve been asked variations of the above question a lot recently. Clearly because of my recent accidental activism about the Huggies commercials, and general willingness to opine on the bigger issues of how dads are portrayed in the media, this makes sense.
But it’s been happening so often, and my answer taken people so clearly by surprise, that I thought it was time I write about it here.
The short answer? No.
I’m not outraged at all. At first I was simply “withholding judgement” for the time being, but the more I’ve watched the trailer, and thought about how feel about it, the more encouraged I am at how the film seems to be portraying active, involved dads…