Unless you live in a cave, you know that Huggies is in big, BIG trouble right now. Why? Because they’ve gone and created a whole ad campaign that depicts fathers as completely incompetent when it comes to childcare and baby wrangling. And there’s just one thing I’d really like to know… WHO CARES???
People act like this is something new. It’s not. What, I’m supposed to be offended? Am I supposed to be upset by commercials that purport to put the company’s diapers to the “toughest test of all: the daddy test”? No way!
Huggies is not the only one that thinks men have no idea what they are doing when it comes to kids, especially babies. That’s why we laugh at Mr. Mom and Three Men and a Baby and The Pacifier and all those Dwayne Johnson (formerly known as “The Rock”) kid movies. Because there is nothing more funny than a big burly guy fumbling and bumbling and tripping all over himself when faced with the impossible challenge of making a bottle or calming a screaming infant or, heaven forbid, yes, changing a diaper.
That What to Expect When You’re Expecting movie (the perhaps least likely book-to-film adaptation EVER), coming soon to a theater near you, I GUAR-AN-TEE there is going to be more of this look-how-irresponsible-and-dumb-dads-are-when-it-comes-to-babies stuff. GUARANTEED!!!
I don’t think Huggies did anything wrong here. I think they know a high percentage of their target audience is women who happen to feel that most men are EXACTLY this incompetent in their child rearing. And men, to some extent, even play that up, for reasons I have described before.
I, for one, am not offended. I think it’s funny. Funny enough. Whatever. I can change a diaper, and feed and burp and swaddle a kid. I am good with kids. Great with kids. But not all men are. I think this ad campaign works (or worked; Huggies has since taken all the ads down and issued a formal apology, of course) because (1) there is a lot of truth in it, and (2) whether true or not, it plays into a conception (or misconception) that a lot of people, especially women, hold regarding dads and their baby-caring abilities. And that’s how humor, which can be a big part of successful advertising, goes. It’s funny because it’s true and/or it’s funny because a lot of people enjoy thinking it’s true.
But I think anyone offended needs to just quit crying and get over it.