I recently received a booklet of ads and coupons from Huggies that annoyed me.
Actually, at first glance it pleased me. On the cover was a picture of a young man, messenger (diaper?) bag slung over his shoulder, hurdling a park bench in pursuit of a crawling baby. My initial thought was, “Wow. Maybe baby and child product manufacturers and marketers are finally start to get it. They’re finally understanding and accepting that dads these days are involved participants in their families’ lives, including making purchasing decisions for household item.”
Then I saw it.
The print at the bottom of the page said something to the effect of, “Look inside for deals for on-the-go moms!”
I guess they don’t get it after all.
Before I had kids, I disliked most ads for domestic products because they almost universally depicted women using the products. I felt they insulted women in a sexist way. Men can clean the house, feed the kids, dress the kids, and change diapers, too. In fact, they only can, they should.
I understand that it’s good business sense to spend advertising money on the demographic groups you believe most likely to be interested in your products. Don’t smart businesses try to generate interest in new demographics as well? Wouldn’t it be smart to open up new markets?
Of course, that’s assuming young fathers are a new market, full of people who don’t already care about domestic issues and products. They do. That’s what makes this stupid ad so hard for me to understand. Lots of men in my generation are as active in the day-to-day affairs of their families’ domestic activities as their wives, and sometimes more so. The market is already there. Huggies isn’t the only brand screwing up, either.
When will companies start to get it? When will dads be recognized for their domestic participation? Don’t businesses like making money?