After Empowering Women In Branded Video, Who's Next?

Branded videos about female empowerment are trending in a big way right now.

Always’ #LikeAGirl, a campaign that challenges the notion that “throwing like a girl” is a bad thing, has garnered 51.7 million views since its release.

Pantene’s #NotSorry, which sheds light on the tendency of women to over-apologize in unwarranted situations, has generated more than 14.6 million views since its release in June.

And last week, Under Armour released I Will What I Want, a video starring American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland dancing to the words of her rejection letters, which has accumulated 3.2 million views in a week.

The trend started with Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, which has preached self-acceptance to women for 10 years. The success of last year’s Real Beauty Sketches demonstrated how powerful this type of female-focused content could be, and other brands followed suit.

These types of empowerment messages work for two reasons. First, they elicit emotion from viewers that engages and inspires them to share content with their friends. Second, they stir up debate around social issues that drive media coverage, buzz, and, ultimately, increased viewership.

But messaging that empowers women isn’t a natural fit for every brand. So how can other brands capitalize on the benefits of this type of messaging?

One group that’s been waiting years to be empowered in advertising is dads.

In the past decade, CPG brands have started to address men as well as women, shopper dad as well as shopper mom. The transition has been subtle. But Cheerios is being bold in its depiction of dads, and it shows the how fertile the space is to tell these new kinds of stories.

Cheerios #HowToDad follows an energetic dad through his morning routine with his wife and four children. He explains the joys of fatherhood in a fast-paced commentary that switches between the camera and his kids. In this ad, we don’t see the ad dad of decades past who is a bit of an idiot. Here we have Superdad – a knowledgeable rule maker, caregiver, and fun friend – an excellent complement to the well-established stereotype of Supermom.

Created for the brand’s new Peanut Butter Cheerios by Tribal Worldwide in Toronto, #HowToDad has garnered more than 631,000 views in the three weeks it has been live. While that might not be as sizable as recent female empowerment ads, the feedback the brand is getting speaks to a need for new depictions of dads in the media.

One YouTube viewer summed up this ad perfectly:“For years Dads like me have been nothing but a clueless joke to advertisers and I’ve called them out every time I see them. Finally a brand showcases Dads as who we really are.”


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