Depictions of fatherhood in advertising have traditionally followed a few tired old tropes. There was the bumbling guy who couldn’t be trusted to microwave a pizza; the martini-sipping paterfamilias type; the tough pickup truck owner; or the immature dad-bro who only wants to watch football.
But times are changing, and the imagery of fatherhood is changing with it. Go ahead, try to keep your eyes dry watching this ad for French mobile phone company Bouygues Telecom:
This dad, like so many other dads, has a penchant for embarrassing his offspring, in this case by dancing awkwardly in public to Redbone’s funky Come and Get Your Love. Not only is the father in question lovable, but he’s also totally realistic.
You don’t need to see an advertisement to know that the modern-day dad is pretty different from the dad of generations past. According to Pew Research, 54% of dads report that fatherhood has become an extremely important part of their identity — and these days, the average dad spends three times as much time on child care than his 1965 counterpart.
While dads may have come a long way in the past few decades, advertisements have not. According to Marketing Daily, 38% of dads feel like advertising doesn’t portray their parenting role accurately. Either they’re distant, or worse, they’re bumbling fools.
But in the last few years, advertisers have been working overtime to better portray the modern-day dad and his relationship to his kid. “Dadvertising,” as it’s come to be affectionately called, has resulted in some heartwarming stuff—like this Cheerios commercial, which follows a dad as he helps get his three kids out of the house on time.
Bouygues Telecom’s holiday special fits right into this “Dadvertising” mold, with a dad just like the one we all wish we had or were. Be sure to have some tissues on hand for the big reveal—seeing multiple generations of goofy dancing dads and sons is sure to get your eyes misty.