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.)
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 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.
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.
After my first, in Washington, DC, back in 2012, I was determined to get more involved with the organization and double-down my work on getting my own local dad group in the Lehigh Valley, PA area, where I lived at the time, off of the ground. I did that, and then shortly after, I helped the NAHDN redesign their website. Last year at the convention in Denver I was elected to the Board of Directors.
So you could say that when it comes to the NAHDN and the At-Home Dad Convention, I’m a big believer in what we’re doing.
I first met Oren Miller in October 2012 at the At-Home Dad Convention, meeting that year in Washington, DC.
Prior to DC, he was someone I only knew online, mostly through his writing on his blog A Blogger and A Father. There he tackles a lot of the same things I do here on Daddy Doctrines — a healthy mix of personal parenting anecdotes, both sweet and funny, and commentary on modern fatherhood through the eyes of a stay-at-home dad. He was also one of the guys I learned to rely on to play Devil’s Advocate for me, after he took a contrarian’s view on the whole “Huggies Thing“ both before and after. I grew to respect him a lot.
Meeting him in person, like meeting anyone you have previously only known online, was a little bit shocking. Yes, there was the wholly unexpected strong Israeili accent, but more than that was his quiet, unassuming demeanor that held sway right up until a razor wit or ridiculously profound observance burst forth. Anyone who knows him will know what I mean.
Now that Mother’s Day has come and gone, the slow trickle of dad-stuff is about to begin, as advertisers and marketers and the media in all its forms start looking for ways to move the focus onto dads. (At least for a couple of weeks.)
Sadly, this usually means a whole lot of (perhaps) well-meaning discussion about dads that still present one of the many falsehoods, fabrications, and outright lies about fathers that just won’t seem to die. Some of these things are annoyances. Others are actually incredibly harmful to families, to kids, and to the dads themselves.
Since we’re still early in the Father’s Day pre-season, I thought I’d nip these in the bud right away.
Have you ever experienced something that was so good, you start to feel a little trepidatious about doing it again, worried that nothing could ever live up to its performance a second time?
I have to be honest, that was my feeling as I arrived in Denver for the 18th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, put on by the National At-Home Dad Network (NAHDN). Last year was such a meaningful experience for me, I didn’t know how I could possibly expect this year to quite reach such a height.
I don’t mean to imply that I didn’t think it would be a great weekend. I am now heavily involved with the NAHDN, serving on the board of directors and overseeing their new website, and in general a big cheerleader for what they do, including their yearly convention. I have several friends who are actively involved or would be there, some of whom I would be getting to meet in person for the first time, while others I would be getting the rare opportunity to spend some time with again.
So yeah, I knew I would have a good time.
What I didn’t expect was that the weekend would surpass what had come before…
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. ;-))
In case you missed it, I was fortunate to be one of several dad bloggers quoted in a great piece on the front page of yesterday’s New York Times business section about the Dad 2.0 Summit, and the ever-evolving relationship between dads and advertisers.
Most of my interview and section of the article was a brief rehashing of last year’s “Huggies Thing,” but I want to draw special attention to one line I sort of… feel like I should explain.
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…
I had such a great weekend at the 17th Annual At-Home Dads Convention in Washington, DC.
Leading up to it, I know that one of the most common questions I (and many of the other dads who attended) have been asked about the convention is some variation on “What do you do there? What would you talk about?”
Having never been before, I was never really sure how to answer that, but it turns out that answer is really not that complicated.
We talk about parenting! We talk about the strategies, struggles, and successes. We talk about potty training, teaching your kids about bullies, and how to get them to eat their veggies. We talk about developing good communication with your spouse, and about finding, starting, and building a local dad’s group. We talk about beer and sports and movies and George R.R. Martin and how to plan a toddler’s birthday party without going insane.
You know, parenting!
To top it off, we get to do this in a way that helps drive home not just the importance of what we do as dads, but also that we’re not alone in doing it. This sort of community support is one of the things that most at-home dads are lacking where they are, so a weekend like this to recharge and get connected with a community from across the nation is huge. HUGE.
Here are a few of the highlights for me…
If all goes according to plan, I will shortly hit the road to Washington, DC, for the much-anticipated 17th Annual At-Home Dads Convention being held there this year.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m very excited to get to go, both as a first-time attendee and as a panel member (I will be part of “Moving the Conversation Forward: Using Media to Change the Perception of At-Home Dads” alongside Matt Schneider and Lance Somerfeld from the NYC Dads Group, Matt Peregoy from The Real Matt Daddy, and journalist David Worford). It’s going to be great to get to meet several dads I only know online, and make several new friends while I’m at it. Good times await!
More than anything, this is a great chance to get refreshed and inspired to be the best dad I can possibly be.
This will be, by my memory, the first time I will be apart from the boys for more than a few hours. It’s going to be strange not having someone begging me for a snack, to take them to the potty, change their diaper, fix them a meal, play blocks, read a book, snuggle, break up a fight, explain where babies come from, take them to the park or the zoo, or let them ride on my back while I pretend to be a T-Rex.
I’m gonna miss them.
But HUGE thanks to my wonderful wife and the best in-laws I could have asked for, for helping make it happen.
Also, I’m hoping to be there in time to participate in a Huggies-sponsored Community Service Project, and for every Facebook post on their wall and/or tweet at @Huggies posted about this event or thanking Huggies for sponsoring the Convention, Huggies® Every Little Bottom will donate to a baby in need. Please join in!
DC, here I come!
In a couple of weeks I will be heading down to the 17th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, which this year is taking place the first weekend of October in the Washington, DC area and is put on by the National At-Home Dad Network.
I’m so thrilled to be able to go, finally.
I’m into my fourth (!!!) year now as a self-described “stay-at-home dad,” but have not been able to make the trip before now. Many thanks to my wife and in-laws who are going to make it possible.
You might think the idea of a convention for at-home dads sounds a little silly, or conversely you may wonder why you’ve never heard of such a thing because it sounds like such a great idea. Either way, everything I hear about the convention has been that it’s a life-changing sort of weekend as far as connecting with other dads, having great conversations about being the best dad you can be, and generally just refueling for this role where it can sometimes feel like we’re running on fumes.
(DDN) — According recent U.S. Census Bureau information, the number of working moms has increased yet again. Mothers are working outside of the home in a staggering 70% of households with children under the age of 18 and are increasingly the primary breadwinner for the family.
The stereotype of the hapless, helpless woman — and the idea that women have no place or anything to contribute to the work force — is holding little water with real families.
But old stereotypes die hard, and many of these moms feel like society still has a hard time accepting them.
For most, this lack of acceptance can be best summed up in two words: Mrs. Dad.
I couple of weeks ago I did an interview with Josh Levs from CNN, about the “Huggies thing,” and the image of the bumbling dad in general.
Earlier this week his article went up. I encourage you to go read it, because it’s quite a good roundup of how the stereotype is changing or at the very least being challenged when it raises its head.
It was a great conversation, and thankfully it worked out that both boys napped well for me so we could have an uninterrupted chat. But while we talked I still tried to quietly get a few things done around the house. At one point the beep of the oven and the sound of clattering baking sheets made me feel like I should apologize for the noise, and I explained to him what I was doing.
And so, my favorite part of his article came about:
[Routly is] concerned that boys and men “see the bumbling dad … and think that’s what’s expected of them,” the stay-at-home father of two told me by phone while baking chips for his kids out of kale from his garden.
I’ve been having so, so many people ask me about my kale chips lately, that I’ve decided it’s high time I posted the (ridiculously easy) recipe for making them.