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Father Knows Best. Except At Verizon. / Banned 'dofus dad' ad "The Elliots"

As Howard Stern would undoubtedly testify, the media times they are a-changin'. Well, boohoo for Howard and hooray for every poor schlub who ever had a creative conscience and a desire to do great work.

I mean, regardless of what Naomi Watts and Adbusters think, a lot of us in the business have been embarassed for years by the crap that passes for advertising. Especially on television. But come on. Other than getting a couple of chuckles as an awards show judge before we throw it out with greasy pizza boxes, well, what could we really do?

But now comes groups like Dads And Daughters and as it turns out, these folks are doing a lot. Their latest target? Verizon. Specifically, that DSL spot where the bumbling dad gets chastised by his wife for hovering over his daughter's computer, with this look on his face like any second he's going to break out with, "Shazaaam!!!"

Is it a lame spot? Oh yeah, absolutely. Is it worth thousands of irate viewers writing letters in to Verizon demanding that they yank the thing? Probably. I mean, how is this different from that perky housewife bouncing around from room to room with her new Swiffer magical dust remover? Help me out here. Is it me or is what we need to get away from isn't dads with oatmeal for brains or moms with a dust rag fetish. It's sterotypes and the hacks who love them.

Client: Verizon

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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LeslieBAP's picture

My husband goes ballistic, and rightly so, at the spot for the Cable TV industry where the dad doesn't understand how the parental controls work and then is told by his little girl that he has to "ask Mommy" if he wants to watch a blocked station. When he does ask, the mommy tells him "no," just as if he was an idiot child and not her life partner.

Glad to hear there is a group fighting this sort of stereotyping.

Dabitch's picture

Amen. Stereotypes are for hacks.

Not related but damn well worth a read is another one from ernieschenk here No Ad Student Left Behind - I've always cursed at the system that creatives who have to work for free to get a foot in door. Not every extreme talent is born with a silver spoon thick enough to pay for college and a full dog-year of free work. The illness is in the business who give away their ideas for free.

AnonymousCoward's picture

I believe this is called a misandric advertisement. It markets towards those women and girls who have contemptful attitudes towards men and boys. Any other group of people would be properly identified as bigots, including the advertisers who produce this crap. However, females in western society are, somehow, blindly believed to possess some sort of angelic quality that makes them exempt from the moral obligations we apply to everyone else.

Toys R Us, Progressive Insurance and Mercury are all spotting misandric ads right now too. Toys R Us has a smug girl saying to her inept brothers "Girls rule and Boys drool!", while mercury plays on the theme of a man complaining "Ugh, women drivers", then having his wife kick him out of the car and him labed in bold letters as unintelligent. The girl power is thick in these ads.

Progressive insurance already has a long history of man hating, misandric commercials, so there's little surprise there. Some might remember their first ad, featuring a woman with a voodoo doll, torturing and implying her castrating her boyfriend with it. Funny stuff, really. Right now their ad features a girl on a "lame date" with a male idiot.

Theres no reason why everyone shouldn't boycott these commercials and the companies that produce them.