We at the PTC are always happy to shine a light on companies that are doing good work and having a positive impact on the culture, so today we would like to applaud General Mills for its positive portrayal of fathers with its new #HowToDad Peanut Butter Cheerios commercial.
Have you seen it? It starts with a young boy wearing a horse mask, waking up his father by jumping on him in bed. We are conditioned by most commercials and sitcoms to expect dad to yell at the kid to get off of him, or to shove him roughly aside. But that’s not #HowToDad. Instead, he enthusiastically engages with his son about his cool, “creepy” new face mask before looking at the camera and saying he’s a dad, “and proud of it, and all dads should be.” He is then shown interacting with his other kids in the house by waking them up, giving them advice, playing and having fun with them. He says that dads “lead by example,” and then goes on to list the roles a dad plays as enforcer, helper, and encourager. He ends the commercial by saying that being a dad is awesome.
Published just one month ago on YouTube, this commercial has already been viewed over one million times. This commercial bucks the unfortunate media trend of depicting dads and bumbling, clueless, incompetent, lazy men. Instead, it portrays a man who is fully engaged with his kids, who recognizes the awesome responsibility of parenthood, and rejoices in it. The best formula for advertising a product is to show something the people can relate to, to pull at their heartstrings, and to add the right amount of humor, and that’s exactly what this ad contains. This commercial is proof that you don’t need sex to sell a product.
Though slow, there appears to be a steady climb of positive advertising. We at the PTC hope to see more positive commercials and TV shows that are as encouraging and uplifting as this.
Can you think of other commercials like this one that used positive, rather than exploitative messaging to sell their product?