I work hard here at Drew’s Marketing Minute and with our clients at McLellan Marketing Group, to infuse a passion for marketing and branding. I know it matters.
But every once in awhile, I need to pause and remind myself and you….that it isn’t brain surgery and no one’s life is going to be ruined by a bad ad.
So, if you will indulge me and let me pause for a :30 message from my heart. Because this is my life’s passion and this does truly change lives.
If you only remember one thing about me or get one takeaway from this blog, I hope it’s this. (Feed readers and e-mail subscribers, click on the headline to view this please)
I believe being a good dad is my most important job. Nothing else I will ever do will matter so much.
I’m blessed with a dad who showed up at my games, sat in the dark and watched storms with me from the porch, and to this day, is a confidante and incredible supporter. I know it made a difference.
How about you?
As usual, you are quite correct and hit the nail on the head. For the record, I’ll be driving to pick up my son at 1:00 AM tonight (or, rather, tomorrow morning, I suppose) as he returns from the national Boy Scout Camp in New Mexico. Exactly as my father did for me about 39 years ago.
Ahhh, I have done many a late night, sit in the school parking lot at midnight sort of run myself. One of the parts of that I love the most is that they’re usually brimming with stories about their days away.
It’s great to be their willing listener. Enjoy the stories you’ll hear tonight!
You are exactly right. Being a Dad is a great honor and priviledge. Why is it that the concept of fatherhood seems to be discounted in our society?
Yes Drew. Family comes first. I’ve seen this piece before and it made me tear up of course!
A nugget that never ceases to trip me up is the reality that there are all those times as a parent we consciously make the effort to say and do things that we want to have lasting impact. But far more nerve racking are all the times I’ve said and done things without much thought and THOSE are the things that have also had a lasting impact, both bad and good. Communication is so precarious. It’s enough to make one shut up . . . well almost. Okay not really but maybe think more.
I’ve managed to arrange my work life to be available for my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But while it isn’t unusual to hear a woman state that her family is her first priority, I don’t hear it from that many men. Thanks for understanding how important you are!
Unlike the domestic violence PSA, this one HAD me. Every second. Perfectly done, and not a word too little or too much.
That’s how it should be done. Thanks for sharing it with us.
(And of course, I’m very glad that they were “preaching to the choir” when you watched it!)
Drew, you rock. Thank you.
Being a good dad means everything to me.
You are one of a kind. Happiness is exactly… there. Remembering it (and there is not a single day we should forget) adds to the consciousness that we are lucky to live and share such moments. Thank you for this wonderful post.
While I agree with you that dads do not get the same “respect” that moms do, we’ve come a long way. (Baby)
Think how much easier it is for dads to take paternity leave or leave a little early to go to a doctor’s appointment or cheer at a ball game.
We have plenty of progress to still fight for. But we have it much better than our dads did!
Thank goodness our impact on our kids is cumulative, not tied to one specific incident. We’re all going to say and do things that we regret.
But there’s a teachable moment in that too. Some of the most humbling but impact filled conversations I have ever had with my daughter immediately followed me apologizing for something I did.
I think it shows our kids it’s okay to make mistakes and it’s important to own up to them.
Like you, I have managed my work day to be accessible to my daughter. With a laptop, cell phone and a bit of flexibility, it’s doable today.
It’s not always easy. But I know I’ll never regret the choice.
You are just like the guy in this TV spot. I can totally see you tumbling through the family room to help her perfect her somersault.
I have played a lot of Barbie in my day. If you want some pointers on plot lines, let me know!
Agreed — just the right amount of tension and wondering what’s going on before the reveal. Brilliantly acted and directed.
And most important — it delivers a vital message that both men and women need to hear again and again.
You and me both, my friend!
You’re so right. Sometimes we make life more complicated than it needs to be. Immerse yourself in the moments.
Drew: I saw this on CK’s blog and it’s a lovely spot. As you know, I spend a lot of time with my own kids and I do a lot of sports coaching.
But now that I’ve established my bona fides as a committed father ;), I have a question for you and your readers: what is the purpose of this spot and does it achieve that goal?
To me, it’s a wonderfully sweet spot that hits the wrong target completely.
It’s aimed at men who might consider shirking fatherhood and its joys and responsibilities. I think it does nothing to convince them to do this.
What it does do is make all of us committed fathers feel good about our choices and our children and about maybe leaving work early some days to throw a ball around with a Little League team or whatnot.
But I’m not sure it has any effect on the target.
Check out the web site the spot drives you to: fatherhood.gov. – it’s not aimed at getting upper middle class men to reschedule that 6:30 PM conference call.
Sorry to be Daddy Downer, but great spot, wrong audience.
I’m not sure I completely agree. I think for those men who have marginal opinions about fatherhood, they are probably most likely to be influenced by those around them.
So hopefully the spot reminds those influencers how important being an active dad can be….and gives them some tools to support/educate those dads who haven’t really engaged.
But…I do agree that if they are aiming right at the disconnected dads, this might not be the most effective message.
I so agree! I talk all of the time about living your priorities and for me, my husband and children are my top earthly priority! Those small moments mean SO much. I learn from my kids and they learn from me and we all become better people for it.
I’m very blessed to have parents that have had a happy marriage my entire life and they were involved and cared. That means the world.
@alan @drew – I don’t know that this spot hits the target on the head. I also don’t know that is was created to go “viral” or create citizen activism across social media. Rather, I believe that this is supposed to be the first step on a journey towards being a more involved dad.
This spot was created to share a singular perspective – that of a dad having a moving moment that any dad will relate to. There’s something real about being goofy with your kids. It’s something every dad cherishes, but relatively few take the time out and DO on a very regular basis.
The spot evokes an immediate emotional response. This response may cause you to push off that meeting and go home, or call up you dad and say thank you for all the great stuff he’s done. However, it does not foster long term change. It creates flighting emotion. And that’s where the landing page should be picking up where the spot left off. And this is where the effort falls flat.
The destination site is gearing towards education – teaching the man to fish. It’s geared towards adjusting the way dad’s view their role in life. We are dads first, and everything else is secondary.
I don’t know that a suggestion list, or checklist (on the destination site) will really accomplish this goal. I don’t know that the video and the landing page directly speak to one another, or strongly direct the viewer/reader along a journey.
I can however, applaud fantastic video creative and a worthwhile effort.
Totally agree with you here, Jon. To me though, it’s more than just a flat letdown when you hit the site, it’s a complete disconnect with the ad. Here you have the top of the top dads doing right with his kid. The casting is great, the neighbourhood is clean/nice – there are no cues that this ad is doing anything but reinforcing the importance of being a good dad.
Then you hit the site. There you see words like domestic violence, incarceration, etc. And it hits you that the ad that made you feel all nice and tingly is intended for guys who are the exact opposite of me.
Or am I missing something?
From my perspective, I would have liked the site to offer resources for me, not the other kinds of dads.
Watching an ad like this makes me wonder why my wife and I haven’t decided to have any kids yet (yes, no kids here — yet). But an ad like this makes me glow inside followed by an inner voice shouting “I want to do that!”. But then again, all I can think of is waking up every 2 hours with a bottle of milk for a year… hmm… Anyway, Bless all you guys’ kids and hope they realize how lucky they’re for having such wonderful and proud parents writing down so many wonderful comments about them. It (parenthood) definitely needs to be tagged as the most important and life-changing job in anyone’s life. Best wishes to all!
It’s good to be reminded and really wrap our hearts around what we have. Makes us more grateful and giving.
I can’t argue with you. As we were discussing on Twitter, I am not sure mass media would be the way to reach men who are on the fence about being a dad.
A :30 spot can reinforce the choices we’ve made as fathers. Which is why we all get the warm fuzzy from it. But is it enough to drive someone who doesn’t value the role to log on to a website to learn more?
I doubt it.
had the URL led to sites that supported and provided resources for dads who were already engaged, I agree…it would have felt like a more consistent message.
Here are a few of my favorites:
You know, there’s something about being a dad (and I suspect a mom) that makes the getting up in the middle of the night, cleaning up vomit, sitting through 4th grade orchestra concerts and all the other painful parts of being a parent somehow seem fun. Or at least worthy.
It’s a remarkable thing, to be responsible for this little person. Not just being sure they eat and are safe…but responsible for their hearts and spirits. It’s truly a mind boggling adventure.
You’ll love it, when the time is right!
Hmm. I didn’t have any problem recognizing this was aimed at disconnected Dads.
In fact, what I like most about it is how the silly incongruity of the singing Dad is bound to get a too-cool urban male to stop for thirty seconds and watch it. At the very beginning I think you could almost imagine a beer-commercial punch line, never suspecting what’s coming. Very velvet hammer.
It has a “just-like-me but on my best day” kind of feel to it, and I think it would twang the heartstrings of its target audience, who do not like having their heartstrings plucked at.
Gotta disagree with the naysayers today. I think it’s capable of doing its job.
Drew – I can not count the ways my dad influences my life even though he died several years ago. Dads and sons are special but dads and daughters .. that is magical.
I hope you’re right. Love the phrase “just like me but on my best day.” I’m going to have to borrow that one of these days.
I think you’re right. There is a magical bond between a dad and his daughter. Sometimes people will ask me if I regret not having a son and you know….I adore having a daughter. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Knowing you and the kind of person that you are, I suspect your dad was an incredibly gracious and giving man. You’re his legacy and he left us a wonderful one!
Thanks for the link to see the video and to add my 2 cents worth.
Today, my little girl turns 16. How could 16 years fly by so quickly? Night two of our 10 night excursion into Des Moines for Driver’s ed! (Stay off the roads!)
Fortunately, I too am able to take the time to see the Cross Country Meets, plays, concerts etc. that are so important to her and her future. Those early drives to pick up the bus for functions, trips across the state to hear this band, or that chorus, etc.
Does it take some sacrifice – sure, but my folks sacrificed for me.
I am just happy that we are able to help her experience her dreams. I have left positions because they were not “family friendly.” Life is too short to not keep your priorities straight.
One of my favorite “dadisms” is when my daughter says, “dad, you’re weird.” I tell her – “of course, dad’s are supposed to be weird!” I would have been doing the cheering with the guy in the video. Our kids remember those things.
Thankfully, my dad,at 90, is still a great source of humor and inspiration and I don’t look forward to the day I can no longer “yell” at him on the phone – unfortunately, being a pilot in WWII and playing in big bands makes him a little on the deaf side.
I really hope my daughter in 45 years can say the same thing about her dad. That I did everything possible to give her a wonderful life and that she shares my faith and appreciation of things that are good.
Drew, thanks for sharing your thoughts and the video. Hillary was wrong – it doesn’t take a village to raise a child, it takes a dad and mom.
My “baby” turned 15 about a month ago and we too endured driver’s ed this summer.
You’re going to think this is quite a coincidence…but apparently I am weird too. I wear it like a badge of honor!
We are the lucky one, Chris. We somehow understood that we’d never look back on the time we spent with our kids rather than on a golf course or climbing a corporate ladder and regretted it.
I believe our kids won’t remember the details but they will remember that we were almost always there. Our presence speaks volumes. Or at least I hope it does.
Your post brought back fond memories of my own dad, who had an amazing sense of humor, always entertaining and joking with us kids. While he was a very hard worker, he was also a loving family man and poet who, along with writing thousands of poems over the course of his life on many different subjects, wrote lighthearted poems about each of his children as we were growing up.
One really special memory I have of him is the night I awoke terrified after a nightmare in which a dog had been chasing me. Without batting an eye, my dad ran into the kitchen and grabbed the broom, dramatically threw open the back window, and with great fanfare, chased that dream dog out into the night, telling it in no uncertain terms to “stay out!” Needless to say, I slept quite well the rest of the night!
When my dad was in his late seventies, we discovered he had cancer. At his advanced age, he wasn’t a candidate for surgery or other intensive therapies. His cancer advanced, and he died of pneumonia at the age of 78. But, his almost-legendary sense of humor held out until the very end. Right up until he slipped into a coma, he kept up a lively banter with the hospice nurse and could be heard joking mischievously with her whenever she came to check up on him. He was one in a million!
How right you are: Dads are so important! When they take the time and effort to get involved with their kids in positive ways, they teach us so many invaluable lessons that we carry throughout our lives!
Thanks for sparking these meaningful reminiscences!
Thank you for sharing these great stories about your dad. He sounds like he was an insightful man. He knew how to pick up your spirits and support you, even when it was just a dream.
And even in the end, he was teaching you an important lesson. Humor makes any situation a little easier on everyone.
I’m sorry that he’s gone but so glad that you got to soak up his love and wisdom for so many years.
Thanks, Drew! I appreciate your providing me a forum for sharing these special memories of my dad!
Dad talk is always welcome here at the Marketing Minute!
I think this spot works on many levels: humor, heartstrings, presenting the ideal, catching a viewer’s attention effectively/powerfully/lightly, tapping into our personal memories.
The biggest reason for me why it works is this: the best commercials these days tell a compelling story, entertain AND go viral. I would not have seen this if it weren’t on your blog, as I’m not a consistent TV watcher. There is something special enough about this ad to have marketing/ad/blogging folks:
— email it to each other & post it on their blogs
— debate its merits
— try to discern why/why not it’s working
The most brilliant ads reach us on levels we’re not even aware of — I’m NOT talking about subliminal messages here. 😉 This ad appeals to us as parents, future parents & grandparents, former kids, AND as marketing/ad/tech-interested professionals. This ad is about dignity, love, respect, community & family AND it is also about effective mass communication in the age of tech. No wonder we’re so interested in it!
One of my favorite sayings regarding dads is “Every day is father’s day.” If every dad lived each day with being a father as a main priority, this world we live in would work a whole lot better.
Thanks for this, Drew. 🙂
It does touch the heart, doesn’t it? It makes me appreciate my dad, my friends who are good dads and how lucky I am to be a dad.
It’s also a reminder to me that those days of dress up, cheerleading, being the jungle gym and all the other crazy stuff were about a lot more than just playing.
Makes me glad I made the time. And you’re right…every day is father’s day. Lucky us.