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The Father Factor:
Fatherhood Matters

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Did Fatherhood Win with Super Bowl Commercials?

Aside from all the great stories that come out of the Super Bowl from each team, let's talk the important stuff — the commercials! Since my teams are rarely in the big game, the commercials are my favorite part of the night. That said, if you follow me on twitter you know I found the Tide/Joe Montana commercial about "no stain being sacred" to be my favorite of the night.

While I'm certain my "fatherhood radar" is working at peak levels considering my working at NFI; I'm finding it more and more interesting how a brand not only spends it's money to be funny and memorable, but how much a brand perpetuates stereotypes of fatherhood in the process.

Here are four examples of commercials from the Super Bowl that are funny and/or thought-provoking, but most of them simply leave us wanting more from brands and fatherhood.
 

2012 Super Bowl Ads Still Not Ready To Grow Up

There are two reasons people watch the Super Bowl every year. Mainly, the championship game is the centerpiece for diehard football fans. For those casual watchers of the sport, the expensive and typically entertaining commercials in between happen to be the draw.

Over the years, some companies have pandered to the mostly male audience with images that gratuitously cater to the oversexed nature of our world today. However, some noble attempts were made to steer away from the typical fare offered on Super Bowl Sunday.

Ronald McDonald House Charities offered a moving commercial centered on a family rallying around a young boy who is suffering with leukemia. With images flashing of the boy’s family members all showing support as he goes through therapy in images, the clip ends sweetly with the young man backed with love, as he should be.

Another great commercial was that of perennial tough guy Clint Eastwood and his classic gruff voice talking about America’s resolve in tough times for Chrysler Auto. One of the longer commercials at just over two minutes, the impression left behind is lasting.

A nice change of pace was Kia Optima’s “Dream Car For Real Life” spot in where the mythical sandman comes in to sprinkle dream dust on a sleeping couple. While the figure douses the wife just a dab of the magic powder, an accident has the sandman dumping half a bucket on her husband. The result: the husband’s macho dreams are amped up to ridiculous levels while his wife’s dreams are sweet and simple. A neat twist was at the end; the husband breaks past his dreams to crash his wife’s serene party and whisks her off into the sunset – all while driving the Kia, naturally.

According to Boston ad agency Mullen and their fourth annual Brand Bowl, Go Daddy was the least liked brand shown during the Super Bowl. The Internet domain name provider applied its typical lowbrow antics, employing longtime spokesperson Danica Patrick scantily clad in a version of heaven most likely conjured by the dream of high school aged boys. Once again using sex to sell its product, Go Daddy saw a huge number of negative tweets with replies growing tired of the company’s shtick.

Go Daddy has the dubious distinction of using a word in their company name – “daddy’ – and cheapening it to the point that it nearly derails the power of the title. Real daddies don’t sit around objectifying women at every turn or are consumed by lust. Some daddies are content to save that energy for the woman they love and to share only his best for his children. Instead of “Go Daddy,” perhaps more “Stay daddy” in the mainstream could help eliminate some of the negative connotation that the company applies to the word.

Let’s hope next year that companies like Go Daddy realize fathers are at home watching the game with their families, and perhaps use their platform for something other than cheap visual gags and silly humor.

A Fatherhood Moment at Super Bowl XLIV

The New Orleans Saints’ 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV certainly was a thrilling moment for the city of New Orleans, still rebuilding after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Saints fans across the country rejoiced as their team won its first Championship in franchise history at their first Super Bowl appearance – including my crazy friends who jumped around the living room yelling and giving high-fives when cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Peyton Manning’s pass for a 74-yard touchdown, turning the game for the Saints.

But in the midst of the excitement, television viewers got a glimpse into a touching moment between a father and son when Drew Brees, quarterback of the Saints and MVP of the game, brought his one-year-old son Baylen onto the field to experience the victory celebration. The little guy seemed quite fascinated with the flashing lights and action around him, securely held by his father, who protected the little boy’s ears from the noise of the stadium with headphones. It was clearly an emotional moment for Brees, kissing his son, whispering to him, and maybe holding back a few tears – as you can see in this video.

During the Vince Lombardi trophy presentation, Brees put what he was feeling into words: “What can I say? The birth of my son this year as well, during the first year of his life we get a Super Bowl Championship - he’s been my inspiration as well, so it just doesn’t get any better than that.” It seems to Brees that as great as winning the Super Bowl is, it doesn’t beat being a father.

The television cameras captured another Saints dad experiencing the excitement with his children – linebacker Scott Fujita holding his two-year-old twin daughters.

My dad told me after the game was over that there’s something in every father that wants to share these special times with their kids. Though most of us have never been Super Bowl Champions, we each have small moments of victory and celebration that are made all the more sweet just by having our children there with us.

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