Monday, February 08, 2010

Responsible Fathers in Super Bowl Ads

The ads in the Super Bowl had a strong discourse about masculinity for married fathers. Some, such as the Dodge Charger ad, saw marriage and fatherhood as an imposition - worthwhile, but making a man deserving of masculine compensation in the form of a muscle car.

Others, though, took a more positive view of marriage and fatherhood, more as a challenging adventure. The Google ad, "Parisian Love," did this cleverly, through a series of queries that implied the life course of a man from pre-courtship to wedding and child.

My favorite ad was for Dove. The galloping romp through a man's life from boyhood to responsible, happy marriage and fatherhood is charming. I was particularly interested to note that they suggest having three kids, rather than the customary two of earlier ads. And the conclusion is that married fatherhood is not an imposition, but a great life.

I personally am not interested in the product, but I like this development in the Zeitgeist.


MJTC said...

I agree, these ads were good and positive, but there were several shockingly misogynistic ads that far outweighed them. I think the Flo TV ad was the worst, with the man shopping with his wife with a bra on his shoulder, to show how emasculated he is because he can't watch the game.

Gruntled said...

Yes, I thought the FloTV ad was the worst, and the Dodge Charger ad, which I mention in the post, was the next worst. All the Bud Light ads were just lame. Someone else wrote that the violin-player beaver ad, which ended with him in a hot tub with a blond, was unnecessarily objectifying of women.

SPWeston said...

You may think you are uninterested in the Dove product, dear sir, but the items on offer in your shower beg to differ.

Jan Kutilek said...

The NOW president Miss O'Neill just said that the Tebow ad was pro violence against women. Has NOW jumped the shark? I thought it was sweet and couldn't have been less offensive.

Gruntled said...

I agree, Jan. I thought the Tebow ad was charming. That the NOW president thinks that it somehow celebrated violence against women seems off the deep end to me.

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Slate has an article up suggesting that male unemployment has something to do with the misogynistic/emasculation ads Mary Jo mentioned. But that seems a bit ironic. Someone who is unemployed probably can't (or shouldn't) buy a new Dodge.

I'm not really able to offer my own theories. Fortunately, I watched none of them because I was at a "Jane Austen un-Super Bowl Party" watching the new BBC version of Emma. :-)

(deleted last post...grammatical error)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Weston,
Is the statistic that only 11% of American families have more than two children still current?

Thanks for your reply.

Dana Ames

Gruntled said...


According to the 2006 General Social Survey, 31.3% of women have had three or more children.