Males in Advertising

Once in a while I'm invited to participate in on-line consumer surveys and today I watched a few commercials.  One of them was a Subway commercial that featured a husband and wife, along with their son.  Passing the Subway store, the dad asks mom if he can get a sandwich.  She (Mommy) tells him that they don't have time, they have to get to practice.  Dad promptly throws a typical little kid tantrum, complete with body language, flailing arms, slumped shoulders.  "Come on...pleeeeaaassseeee...?

No, mom say, grow up.  And the child faces down his father, shakes his finger at him and declares, "Yeah Dad...GROW UP!"

Can you imagine the uproar at an advertisement that portrayed a woman acting like a child, with her own child telling her to "Grow up?"  Yikes...and yet men are a politically correct target.

Is this an aberration?  Are men often betrayed as being immature, stupid or incompetent  with family matters?

  • Home Improvement
  • Every Loves Raymond (I watched these shows once in a while and found them anti-men as grown ups each time)

What about advertising?


2004, In that (Verizon) ad a bumbling father tries to help his little daughter with her homework and is treated with contempt by both the girl and her mother, who orders the father to "leave her alone" and "go wash the dog." Our campaign made 300 newspapers, and the Verizon ad stopped running a few weeks later.

See the ad here (on the right).


Here is an ad of an idiot male parking


A Fidelity ad featuring a young girl with an "I can't believe my father is this stupid" look and a male gloating over winning a ping-pong game.


And of course...

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2 thoughts on “Males in Advertising

  1. Hi Ellen,

    I love this post--I hate the t-shirt. The mouse pad is not quite as offensive itself, but in the spirit of all the above, just as bad.

    But excellent stuff for blogging! May I use the pics?

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