Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jif and the Choosy Dad

Jif and the Choosy Dad


A few months ago I wrote a post about Jif, the peanut butter company, and specifically about one of their ads, that is supposedly meant to celebrate dads.

In that ad, a guy is building a tree house for his daughter. She runs off to the kitchen to make him a peanut butter sandwich, and they eat together inside the new tree house.

Which is very cute until you consider a few things:

There are about 20 videos on the Jif Facebook page, all showing mothers in various stages of sandwich preparations and consumption: moms bond with their kids while making sandwiches, they chat about nutritional values, they have me-time with their peanut butters, and they feed their families. Dad, appearing on a single video, is being fed by his daughter. While Mom's role in the family is to feed her kids, Dad is there for projects. And when he's done, a female is ready to feed him.

It bothered me on the dads-being-ignored level, and it bothered me on traditional-gender-roles level. And the Jif slogan that appears in the ad (as well as everywhere else on Jif website), "Choosy Moms Choose Jif," represents what I think is a misguided thought in advertising: that in order to appeal to a certain group of costumers, you must exclude other potential costumers.

So I wrote that post in December and got no reaction from Jif. Not even a "We value your opinion" tweet.

But recently I saw Jif's new ad, and now I'm going to go ahead and take full credit for Jif acknowledging fatherhood.

Sure, I'd love it if father-and-son bonded over something less stereotypical than video games or sports, and I'd love for the lines "... and dads" to appear on the Jif slogan, rather than just sounding like an afterthought, but hey... This ad might not be a gamechanger, but it's still progress. And the father actually puts the peanut butter on celery, which gives Jif a few extra points.




8 comments:

  1. The lunacy behind showing a dad in the commercial but saying "choosey moms" is off the charts. Why can't Jif just be a game-changer themselves and CHANGE their motto? It happens. It's not like they're going to have to destroy tons of public perception to rebrand. All they've got to do is roll-out a "Choosey parents" line and do a press release saying "we realize that decisions in the grocery shopping are not solely put on the mother, and that's why we're evolving." Literally all they have to do. Then, dads will forgive any old ads/commercials that still have the old line in it.

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  2. And I think they will get tons of positive publicity from that (and not lose a single mom). I also assume stuff like that takes time, though. There's copywrite issues, and branding, and research... I still think it's a step forward though, especially since I hated their tree house commercial.

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  3. Ha, I tried celery again about a month ago--it's a yearly attempt--and couldn't see how anyone could eat that and not wish he were dead. But... I mean... someone out there MUST like it, right? With peanut butter? I have to give Jif points for that. It shows the dad-son time as not just a time where Dad spoils the kid until Mom takes over with real parenting.

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  4. Even if dads are 10% of the customers of some products, they usually don't appear in 10% of commercials for these products. And I'm sure the number is higher with peanut butter, so it's good to see this ad.

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  5. Honestly, I don't even eat peanut butter... But I don't mind trying their hazelnut spread.

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  6. Thaddeus Casimir KosApril 20, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Call me a cheapskate, but I prefer the generic brand over name brand any day. It's usually the same thing anyways. - As far as celery goes, that's classic! Ants on the log was the best, although my daughter could care less.

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  7. Oh, the celery-peanut butter is a "thing"? That shows how much I know... When I was a young kid I decided I didn't like peanut butter, and as these things work out, I haven't had a bite since.

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  8. can you give me a year this was made? was it just this year, 2013? I am doing a paper on advertisement and am covering Jif Peanut butter. thanks!

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