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.