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Personalised hammer anyone? Father’s Day marketing still endorses outdated views of men

The Drum 13 Jun 2019 09:15
Father’s Day marketing is endorsing an outdated views of men

In December the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) moved to ban gender stereotypes in advertising. While the representation of women in advertising was rightly covered, it also offered crucial guidance on the depiction of men.

Specifically, it called out instances where a man is shown putting his feet up while a woman runs around after him, or shows him failing to change a nappy. They will also be coming down hard on advertising that “belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks”.

It’s long overdue as there are many men who take an active role in their home and family lives, juggling that and work equally with their wives and partners. Additionally, stay at home Dads do exist and find it very fulfilling – something that as a society, let alone as advertisers, we should be celebrating not mocking.

Nothing brings to life how misunderstood men are quite like gifting occasions - it’s Christmas, just get him some socks? - with Father’s Day as the biggest shame of them all. Please go and Google it. Brewing kits, ties, even a personalised hammer.

Far from the world of Menkind and novelty beer mugs, it’s clear trends like health and fitness have impacted more than just female consumers. Some new Lycra and a DeLonghi pasta maker? Yes please.

Put bluntly, the idea of a ‘man cave’ and men shirking family responsibilities is miles away from the lives of hard-working fathers who desperately wish they could spend more time with their families.

If we can start to shift the narrative around men in our communications, and celebrate joint care over our homes and families, we’ll be taking on our part of the responsibility in making that a reality.

Yelena Gaufman, is strategy partner at Fold7

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Advertising Standards AuthorityusGoogleDeLonghiMenkind
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