Much like Chuck Norris, I don't cry. Every so often, around Father's Day-Month, I may or may not "shed man tears." But I don't cry—ever. Shedding man tears is something wholly other—yet emotionally significant. June is a tough month for we dads to watch commercials. It seems for a few days, the world stops and turns, then turns more and lands on fathers for a few hours before rotating to Fourth of July sales. While we dads like our Fourth of July sales too, hardly have Independence Day commercials made us cry, er, shed man tears, which is different, not crying, no.
I give you NFI's list of five Father's Day commercials that may cause you to shed man tears.
Tide and Downy Commercial: Happy Father's Day (30 sec)
Lily lives in her favorite princess dress, but like most kids, she's not exactly tidy. Between pasta spills and kissing frogs, that princess dress gets messy! Once a week, Lily's dad lets her play sheriff and uses Tide laundry detergent and Downy fabric softener together to keep her dress stain free and super soft. This one may not make you shed man tears, but the kindness of Tide and Downy is making us do so. For every tweet on Twitter of the hashtag #DadsWay, Tide and Downy will give NFI $1. Let's see those tweets! Leave the man tears to yourself!
Oral B: Power of Dad (1:09)
Your dad has always had the power to make you smile, now Oral-B wants to help you power up his smile in return (insert shedding of man tears here). #PowerofDad
Sears: Not a Superhero (1:03)
Let's hear it for the original Superman, Dad. From the one place you can always count on to save his day. From ties to grills, tools, TVs and more, only Sears has everything the superhero in your life is looking for this Father's Day. This is Sears, #ThisIsSuper. Another hashtag could be used here: #ShedManTears.
Dick's Sporting Goods: Father's Day (1:02)
For everything Dad has done for you, make this Father's Day the best one ever. Sometimes, no emotion is needed, simple sports scenes may evoke the shedding of man tears. Like in this video:
Oreo: Bedtime (1:01)
Wonder if a girl gave an Oreo to her Dad - would he let her stay up past bedtime? See how sharing an Oreo can let wonder loose in Oreo's latest Wonderfilled commercial, featuring a new twist on a favorite song. Yes, in conducting my own experiment, the data is statistically significant showing when a daughter gives her dad an Oreo—she can in fact stay up past her bedtime. While dad sheds man tears over delicious cookies and milk. Those man tears are actually called "wonderfilled man tears."
If you made it through these commercials without shedding man tears, chances are, you're either a cyborg or not-a-father. In which case, I'm not mad at you. But you need to understand, all the above companies got Father's Day correct this year. Go dads—and Happy Father's Day!
What's your favorite Father's Day commercial?
NFI's Vince DiCaro talks about how you can pick the winner of the 2013 Military Fatherhood Award. Vote for your favorite finalist before Friday, May 17!
Can't view the video? Visit Fox News Live for full video
Vince DiCaro was interviewed yesterday on Fox News Live and discussed our 2013 Military Fatherhood Award Finalists. As Vince points out, we have four amazing finalists:
Chief Petty Officer Patrick Mondragon, U.S. Navy.
- Currently serving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California
- Father of two kids, daughter age 9 and son age 8
His wife became very ill recently. He became a sole parent for their children. He took care of his wife and children all while serving our country. Get parenting tips from CPO Mondragon here.
Staff Sergeant Jorge Roman, U.S. Army.
- Currently serving at Fort Stewart, Georgia
- Father of two daughters, ages 9 and 8, and expecting another
He is a first-generation immigrant. His parents worked hard to see their son build a life here and he is a great example of service. Get parenting tips from SSgt Roman here.
Staff Sergeant Charlie Linville, U.S. Marine Corps.
- Currently serving at Balboa Naval Medical Center Wounded Warrior Battalion in San Diego, CA
- Father of two daughters, ages 5 and 2
He's a wounded warrier. Within 36 hours of having his leg amputated, we was cheering his daughter on at her karate class. Get parenting tips from SSgt Linville here.
Major Kevin Billups, U.S. Air Force.
- Currently serving at Tyndale AFB, FL
- Father of three children
He recorded himself reading to his children so that when he was deployed his children would know how much he loved them. Get parenting tips from Major Billups here.
Pick your favorite finalist and vote before tomorrow at midnight!
Connect with The Father Factor by RSS, Facebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.
"It's difficult to be what you don't see." —Roland C. Warren, Board Member, National Fatherhood Initiative (on the importance of role models)
Roland Warren was on Oprah’s LifeClass last Sunday to discuss fatherless sons and single moms working to parent their sons. In the video, Roland asks a single mom in the audience, "what kind of father do you want for your son? What kind of father do you want your son to be?"
The show focused on mistakes single moms often make. Single mothers tend to focus on the finances. In the video, Roland explains that finances can't be the primary issue of focus. Watch the video and see Roland share vital advice with a single mom on how she should be raising her fatherless son. He makes it clear that finances aren't as important to your child as you being there physically for your child.
Roland draws a clear distinction in the video between the wallet and the heart. Which one are you chasing after?
I love the pro-fatherhood imagery in this commercial. Take a look:
Everything is perfect until the tagline. I think it should say the opposite, “It’s good to be a friend. It’s better to be a dad.”
Kids have plenty of friends (usually), but they only have one dad. There is something unique and irreplaceable about being a dad, and while being a friend to your child can certainly be part of that, there is so much more to it than that.
You are their teacher, their guide, their protector, their provider, their nurturer. I don’t think we typically expect all of that from our friends. Furthermore, one could even argue that kids don't need another friend in their dad; they need a parent. I’ve heard more than one story of a dad trying to be his child’s “friend” and finding out the hard way that the child needed a lot more than that, especially in the area of discipline.
Anyway, maybe I am splitting hairs on this one. The “feeling” that the commercial gives me is great. I just wish they had come up with a better tagline. This tagline almost ruins the commercial because it makes fatherhood out to be less than what I think it really is.
What do you think? Is it better to be a “dad” or a “friend” to your child?
Connect with The Father Factor by RSS, Facebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.
National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) is excited to partner and promote the upcoming boxing match, Mayweather vs Guerrero, on Saturday May 4 at 9pm ET.
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero takes on Floyd “Money” Mayweather JR for the WBC Welterweight Championship Saturday, May 4 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.
You can watch the fight for free from your sofa! Order pizza and invite some friends over for a watch party. You'll have no traffic, no parking, no lines, no crowds, fight is broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime PPV directly to your tv!
What You Can Win:
- 5 T-shirts
- 5 Posters
- $200 Visa Gift Card (Winner can order the Pay-Per-View fight and buy food/drink for Watch Party)
Here's How You Win:
- LIKE National Fatherhood Initiative on Facebook.
- Follow @TheFatherFactor on Twitter.
- Tweet this message on Twitter: I'm watching the #MayDay fight Saturday 5/4 at 9pmET with @TheFatherFactor. Who's with me? http://bit.ly/nfimayday1 #DadsClub
- Do all three (3) things by tomorrow (Thursday May 2nd) at 10am ET for your chance to win the prize pack. One winner to be chosen. We have to pick quick—so we have time to mail prize pack to the winner's house before the fight!
Visit our MayDay page for more details on the fight!
Connect with The Father Factor by RSS, Facebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.
This week we have reached the perfect connection in romance and social media! Not only is today #ThrowbackThursday; but it's also Valentines' Day! We have a blog post from back in the day about Keith Urban and his view of...guess what? Marriage! That makes this #ThrowbackThursday post the perfect romantic post for Valentine's Day! Because what's more romantic than a celebrity who knows that loving his wife more than his kids is ok? Answer: nothing. Nothing is more romantic! Happy Valentine's Day, parents!
From the American Idol page:
Keith Urban has sold more than 15 million albums, is a four-time Grammy Award winner, and has won a People's Choice and American Music Award.He's won five Academy of Country Music Awards and had 14 No. 1 songs, including 28 Top 5 hits. In 2012, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. His latest CD, "Get Closer," comes on the heels of his fifth consecutive platinum or multi-platinum release. It has produced three consecutive No. 1 singles: "You Gonna Fly," "Long Hot Summer" and "Without You."
From our throwback blog post on Keith Urban, Loving Your Spouse More Than Your Kids:
Urban recently revealed in an interview that he loves Nicole more than their two children. To do justice to what he said, I have copied the entire quote here:
"We're very, very tight as a family unit and the children are our life, but I know the order of my love. It's my wife and then my daughters. I just think it's really important for the kids...There are too many parents who start to lose the plot a little and start to give all their love to the kids, and then the partner starts to go without. And then everybody loses. As a kid, all I needed to know was that my parents were solid. Kids shouldn't feel like they are being favoured. It's a dangerous place."
We at NFI think what Urban said is worth repeating—perhaps today would be a great day to show your wife that she is more important to you than anything in the world—even more important than the kids!
We commented in the throwback blog post:
But research seems to back Urban's mentality. Generally speaking, the most important relationship in the home is the one between mom and dad. As Urban states, if their relationship fails, everyone loses. While we don't yet have research that shows specifically that marriages in which the spouses love each other more than the kids produce "better kids," we do know that kids who grow up in married homes do better, on average, across every measure of child well-being. We also know that divorce is not good for children. We also know that parents who are married to each other are closer to each other and to their kids than parents in any other family structure. Put that all together, and what Urban says looks pretty good.
What's one thing you will do today to show your spouse takes priority over your kids?
My wife hates watching TV with me because whenever I see a commercial depicting fathers in a negative light, I go off on the same rant. So, she hears this rant almost nightly.
But to be fair to the Madison Avenue crowd, there are certainly lots of commercials showing dads in a positive, or at least realistic, light (note: showing dads acting like childish idiots is not realistic, nor is it helpful). In fact, NFI has given the Fatherhood Award™ to several of these companies, including Google, Subaru, and many more.
In the spirit of being fair and balanced, here is one good and one bad example of current TV ads depicting dads.
As a baseball fan, former Little Leaguer (where my dad was my coach for several years), and high school player, I love this ad.
Some may argue that it is another ad showing a dad looking pretty dumb, but my problem is not so much with “dumbness,” but with ads that are not realistic. This one is. Not everyone can throw a baseball well. What matters is that this guy is so sincere, and he’s spending time with his son, one on one.
Most importantly, the ad does such a great job of telling a realistic and touching story. Look closely and you can see that the dad is still wearing his work clothes. He pulled into the driveway from work and his son was waiting for him in the front yard wanting to play catch. And he started playing with him right there – he didn’t even go inside to change his clothes! You can almost hear the kid saying, “Dad, dad! Let’s play catch!” And he, being the loving dad he is, dropped everything and started playing, despite his obvious lack of skills or comfortable clothes.
Humor, storytelling, and a positive message about fathers – this ad has it all. As opposed to this ad…
In contrast to the one above, this ad is not realistic. I do not know a single dad who would be this negligent and uncaring. Nor would a dad be “bought” so easily with the promise of food that was probably purchased with his own money. I also hate the recurring commercial theme of “if it weren’t for moms, American households would be bastions of chaos and permissiveness.” One could counter that the ad was “bending the truth” for a comical effect – but so was the above ad, and it was great and heartwarming and realistic. Again, note to commercial producers: you don’t have to make men and dads look like idiots in order to make funny ads. Frankly, I think it is lazy writers falling back on stereotypes who are making these kinds of commercials. The non-lazy ones are making gems like the VW ad above.
To be fair to Kraft, they are a sponsor of the upcoming Dad 2.0 Summit, so clearly they are trying to make a genuine effort to reach out to fathers. But with ads like this (and it is only one in a series of similarly bad ads), I don’t think they are going to have as much success as they’d like. To be sure, if they want to work with NFI, we would need to have a serious discussion about what they really think about fathers given the mocking nature of their ad campaign.
Have you seen any good fatherhood commercials lately? How about bad ones? Let us know.
Last Father’s Day, Focus on the Family asked “who is your favorite TV dad?” The following choices were given:
- Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon, Little House on the Prairie)
- Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby, The Cosby Show)
- Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont, Leave it to Beaver)
- Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith, The Andy Griffith Show)
- Mike Brady (Robert Reed, The Brady Bunch)
- Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley, Happy Days)
- Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray, My Three Sons)
- Uncle Bill Davis (Brian Keith, Family Affair)
- Ben Cartwright (Lorne Green, Bonanza)
- Mike Seaver (Alan Thicke, Growing Pains)
- John Walton (Ralph Waites, The Waltons)
- Steven Keaton (Michael Gross, Family Ties)
My favorite TV dad is Charles Ingalls of the Little House series followed by Dr. Huxtable of The Cosby Show.
We watch reruns of Little House on the Prairie (weeknights on the Hallmark Channel) with our kids.
Mr. Ingalls modeled self-sacrifice, integrity, and the value of hard work. He exemplified being rich in faith and joy despite being poor in wealth. He was everyone’s “Pa.” He was tough and rugged but also gentle and emotional when it came to his family. I appreciate how he was loved and respected by his children. According to Laura Ingalls Wilder, it was the preservation of her own dad’s stories that motivated her to write the Little House books that inspired the TV show.
Once in a while, it is also worth it to catch old episodes of The Cosby Show (weeknights on Centric). Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, father of 5 children, emulates the fun but firm dad I wish to become. He adores his wife Claire and is not afraid to lecture his kids about good character and the realities of life. Dr. Huxtable was a cool dad. He let his kids be kids but at the same time taught them to be responsible.
These two shows depict what research says is the best family environment for children: an involved father, a strong marriage, discipline, and values.
This formula is pretty scarce in today’s TV lineup, especially sitcoms.
There are more bad dads than good ones: Tony Soprano (The Sopranos), Walter White (Breaking Bad), Don Draper (Mad Men), Al Bundy (Married With Children), Peter Griffin (Family Guy), George Bluth Sr. (Arrested Development), Arthur Spooner (The King of Queens), Frank Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Frank Constanza (Seinfeld) are some names that come to my mind.
And it seems that these shows and characters are granted more airtime, critical acclaim, and loud applause from networks, the press, and their audiences. Maybe it pays to depict fathers poorly?
The imbalance of bad dads seems to be increasing with every new TV season. For dads like myself who enjoy TV and quality role models for my family, there isn’t much to get excited about.
But thanks to cable reruns, TV dads like Mr. Ingalls and Dr. Huxtable live on, and we can watch them all over again with our families.
Which TV Dad was your favorite from back in the day? Tell us in the comments.
This is a guest post from Jason Bruce. Jason is the social media specialist for the Colson Center and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two young children. Follow Jason on Twitter (@JasonBruce) and visit his blog The Living Rice.