Every morning my mom wakes up bright and early. She walks into the kitchen, ready to take on the day by a storm. But you know who walks into the kitchen with her? I’m pretty sure you’ll guess wrong. It’s not me, it’s my dad.
My father is an officially retired person, who wakes up every morning with my mother and helps her in the kitchen. He packs our lunch boxes, makes breakfast and walks down to our car to wash it. He ensures that we all have breakfast together and only then do my mom and I leave for work. Every evening when we come home, our pantry is stocked, the house is clean and he is busy handling any official paperwork or enjoying a cup of coffee. You don’t need to be a millennial to be called a “New Age Dad”. The new age dad can be at any walk-in life, and is yet different from the stereotype. My dad not only helps around the house, he even listens to my day stories, offers advice whenever he can and is always up to date with his environment. Bitmoji, Snapchat or Instagram, you name it and he is on it.
When I wrote an article on Mother’s Day, my dad was pretty offended that he did not get a mention, and rightly so. He may have meant it as a joke, but fathers deserve to be looked at in a new light too. While women in brand communications have constantly been evolving, the men are still being subject to age old pictures. The dad is always the sole bread owner in the family, the stern and distant individual with little to no emotional connect. The Brand World however, is starting to see the change in fathers, with more brands beginning to target them.
I am a regular watcher of the television series Shark Tank. During one of their seasons, a DC based company named “Father Figure” pitched their brand on the show. Father Figure is a brand for the new age dads who actively participate in taking care of their new born child. With a range of clothing made particularly for these fathers, Father Figure ensures that the bond between the father and child is more up, close and personal. This lifestyle brand not only caters to the comfort and style of the father, but also emphasizes on maximum quality for the child.
Another brand that deeply connected with me is Ariel with their Share the Load campaign. They may have come out with numerous versions of the #SharetheLoad series, but the original “Dads do laundry” advertisement always brings a tear to my eye. The raw emotion, understanding and relatability in the ad makes it an iconic piece of communication.
Apart from the brand world, fathers are often hit with snags from employers, the media and various other touch points. Research has successfully shown overtime that a father is just as influential on the child as the mother, sometimes more. However, they have been challenged due to traditional ideologies and stereotypes. Till now, in most companies, fathers are only given a paid paternity leave of 15 days.
Contrary to numerous big companies, brands like Zomato have taken a step ahead, offering a paid paternity leave of 26 weeks and an endowment of $1000 as gift for every new born child.
One of my favorite brands Dove too has shed light on the issue of paternity leave through various campaigns under the Dove Men + Care range. One such campaign has been “Dear Future Dads” featuring a video of the raw emotion a father experiences when his child is born and his impact on his/her life.
We need to stop believing and living with traditional clichés, dad jokes and everything in between. After all, a girls’ first love and a boys’ first superhero will always be their dad.