Saturday, March 2, 2013

Men are Idiots in Commercials

We have an agency that we're working with to help us on a re-branding initiative.  They're a highly respected agency, and work with some world renown brands.  They've been very good and capable partners.

Yesterday, they presented out their full vision for our new brand.  They laid out their thought process, rationale, and quantitative justification for their recommendation.  And from my perspective, they knocked it out of the park.  What they developed was brilliant, and will be a great path forward for us.

They then took things to a next step, and showed us some creative concepts for TV commercial story boards, billboards, direct mail covers, and newspaper inserts.  And at that point, they completely blew the presentation, as none of what they presented from a creative perspective matched up the branding promise that they had just presented.

The disconnect was downright shocking, and it was interesting to see their body language when they were presented with that feedback.  The look of "Holy crap, he's right.  What were we thinking?" was palpable.

Ordinarily that would have been enough to tick me off, but the real thing that got me were the storyboards, as all of them centered around the tired cliche of the "idiot dad/man."  

When one looks at commercials, if there is a joke in need of a butt, dad/man is the butt of the joke 98% of the time.  Dad is routinely shown as out of touch, bumbling, helpless, ignorant, and clueless.  

I've written on it before, here.

And as a marketer and a man, I'm tired of it.  Damn tired of it.

If I have any say on it, our brand will not perpetuate that stereotype.  It might be safe advertising.  Hell, it might even be effective.  But it's not going to happen on my watch.  


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