As Dad, I Get It. Sadly, Yoplait Doesn’t.
For those of you not familiar with the commercials:
This is how Yoplait sees Dads:
This is how Yoplait sees Moms:
I’m writing on behalf of my son today. He’s 12 years old. He is a fine young man, wise beyond his years, and of impeccable manners. Today, he’s really not at all impressed with you.
Recently, he asked me to look up your “Dads who get it” commercial. He said, “I don’t want you to put Go-Gurt in my lunch anymore, Dad. That commercial makes it look like Dads are too stupid to do something as simple as pack a lunch without everyone telling him how.”
I’m not going to waste a lot of time or energy explaining to you what year it is. (It’s 2012.)
I’m not going to try to explain why your ad campaign showing Moms as smart and efficient lunch packers and Dads as absent minded oafs is sexist.
I’m not going to argue with eleventybillionseven people on the Internet about what roles men and women should or shouldn’t play in their children’s lives.
I’m not going to diminish my own parenting by defending to you my stellar lunch packing skills of nearly a decade now. In all honesty, packing lunches is such a basic and simple part of my routine that not once, until now, had it ever occurred to me that anyone might judge me as a parent by this skill.
I’m not even going to tell you how many males and females make up our family, which of us do which chores, or who buys the groceries. It doesn’t matter. We should all have respect.
I am going to tell you two things:
1) Through the eyes of at least one child you were hoping would be part of your target market, you don’t get it. You don’t get it on so many levels that I doubt any amount of time or explanation would help you get it. Apparently, it’s a simple concept to at least one 12 year old boy.
2) It is the year 2012. There are so many different variations of family out there these days that I can’t imagine why you would diminish any of them in hopes of selling products to others. Some parents are raising children alone. Some parents co-parent across two households. Some families are mixed, some are not. Some people even stay married these days. No matter what configuration any family happens to fall under, I have to think that any of these parents would be offended if you painted them as bumbling oafs.
I hope that one day I can hear people talk about parenting as parenting alone, without gender bias in any direction. I am also raising a young lady and I teach her to stand up to anyone who treats her with disrespect; sexism is only one form of disrespect. I can assure you that she does. Today my son stood up to you and declined to continue partaking of your products because you disrespected our family in his eyes. He asked me to write to you. I must be doing something right, amazingly without the help of 73 post-it notes.
I like to think that our family is part of the solution. My daughter will not grow up in a home where she believes that because she is female she should serve the men of the house, nor will she ever believe that being female means she has to take any particular life path. (In case I forgot to mention it, it’s the year 2012.) My son will not grow up believing that because he is male, he should fill only this role or not fill that role in his own family. We do what is required of us as a family, and never ever do those needs dictate that a male or female only will perform any given task.
I’m sorry that you’ve decided to be part of the problem, Yoplait. I know that in big business, money is always the bottom line. Maybe your marketing department can find a way to put a dollar value on respect. But I doubt it.
Cheers from The www.ThreeFiveZero.com Family