Dove's #RealDads Campaign Honors Hands-On Fathers Who Breakdown Stereotypes

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 27, 04:00 am

Dove unleashed a new campaign called #RealDads to honor hands-on fathers. An increasing number of dads these days approach parenting differently that they are breaking stereotypes.

Dove's #RealDads campaign launched its ad Tuesday showing fathers as carers of their children. It featured a collection of different family videos showing dads feeding or bathing their children, playing and goofing with their kids, and changing the baby's diaper. Dove's #RealDads campaign followed the release of its #RealMoms ad showing modern moms.

"Research tells us that the media focuses on fathers as 'providers' and 'fixers' over three times more often than as 'emotional caregivers' and over four times more often than a 'daily caregiver,' diminishing their role as parents," a spokesperson for the company said, as per Huffington Post. "When in fact, 97 percent of dads say they are involved in their children's life and 7 in 10 see themselves as highly involved."

Compounding on what the Dove representative said, a study published in Marketing Theory in 2010 showed fathers were indeed portrayed in ads from a "very traditional masculine perspective." This proliferated the stereotype around dads who were defined by their financial capacity, income and status of employment.

"The media industry has tended to characterize men as macho guys, skirt chasers and inept at parenting and relationships," Keith Richman of Break Media told Forbes. The company did a separate study on how men feel about their gender's portrayal in ads and other mediums. Richman added, "While may have historically been true, what our results showed is that these characterizations aren't reflecting the behavior and aspirations of today's men."

In 2014, Pew Research Center published a study on a growing trend among families. The number of fathers choosing to stay at home and be the children's primary carers quadrupled from 1989 to 2012, from five percent to 21 percent.

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