Dear Proctor & Gamble,
You just blew my mind. I’m damn near speechless. Rarely do I have a good thing to say about your company, but this time you done good in my eyes. What’s got me so pleased and excited? The new ad for Tide Laundry Detergent that I saw while watching the NBA Playoffs… on Father’s Day no less.
For decades you’ve depicted household chores like doing the laundry as strictly women’s work. Such depictions may have been factual at one point but they’re just tired old stereotypes now. For you and your detergent pushing competitors however, time seemed to have stood still. Sure, in the past few years I noticed a few attempts from your company trying to recognize that things are changing. But in most cases you just produced ads in which men doing laundry was seen as an oddity. Or a way to make an awkward and/or offensive joke about changing household dynamics.
Your fist ad featuring a man doing laundry was
a good but ultimately failed attempt utter bull-shit to say the least:
Dad-Mom? What the fuck is that? A man can’t just do some damn laundry without having to puff out his chest and act like some kind of fake tough guy? Ugh.
But that was then. Clearly you’ve learned from past mistakes because what you’re putting out now is just, well… awesome:
What makes it so amazing is just how mundane it is. In reality it’s just an ad about a guy doing the same things fathers and mothers do everyday; playing with their kids and doing the laundry (bonus points for showing a girl getting dirty, playing with frogs and not freaking out… bonus points as well for running it during the NBA playoffs). If we lived in a different world, one in which people aren’t forcefully locked into gendered roles and duties it would just be another ho hum, barely noticeable ad. But we don’t live in that world. In this world it’s the first and only ad (that I’ve seen at least) depicting a man doing the laundry with no hovering wife/mother, no man acting inept around the house, no drama, and no awkwardly sexist jokes. In this world it’s an ad worthy of attention.