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Dadvertising Fail: Similac Ad Has a Bad Aftertaste

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Similac Sisterhood of Motherhood

Well, here’s another example of bad dadvertising, this time from Similac, makers of baby formula. I heard about this from Chris Routly of Daddy Doctrines (who was also largely responsible for getting Huggies to change their dad-based advertising).

First, here’s the ad:

Hey, you know what? It’s a funny ad, poking fun at the way parents judge each other all the time: cloth diapers vs. disposable, breastfeeding vs. bottles, cuddling vs. pushing, at-home moms vs. wage-earning moms. There are even dads present who say, hey, we can be parents too.

And the penultimate line of the ad: “No matter what our beliefs, we are parents first.” That’s great. (I mean, particularly if you’re selling infant formula in a “breast is best” world.) But then after that? “Welcome to the sisterhood of motherhood.” Wait, what? I guess by “parents,” Similac really means “moms.”

Sigh.

Since Routly has already gone to the trouble of writing up a really good response to the ad, go read his article here.

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10 thoughts on “Dadvertising Fail: Similac Ad Has a Bad Aftertaste

  1. Cynical but clever advertising. “Lets stop BF mums advertising that breast milk is actually healthier than formula”. The fact remains breast milk is better. Do we really think Similac care about mum wars? Of course not, they want formula feeding mums to feel less guilty so they wlll buy more of their artificial product making them millions. If mums choose formula over breast milk let them do so in peace but to try and pretend its a healthy choice on a par with breast milk is false. ( I am aware some mums cant breast feed for medical reasons which is approx 2% of the population).

    1. I would say that’s certainly the takeaway message from the ad, since it’s coming from Similac, but despite that I did appreciate the sentiment that parents should tone down the judgment. We’re a pro-breastfeeding family, too, but with our third we ended up with some complications and she ended up needing formula as a supplement, and eventually switched to formula only. It was very hard for my wife to overcome the feeling that this was somehow a failure, having to feed our baby formula, so that’s why I do agree with the overall message of the ad, even if we still support breastfeeding as the healthier option.

  2. At first … I thought, huh – pretty cool. I get parody so I could roll with it. While a few lines made me laugh it bugged me that essentially the bit about dads was “boobs” characterizing them as, well … boobs. And then that welcome to the sisterhood of motherhood thing popped up and I thought: FAIL. So it was fun to find my way to this post, and your site – I’m an Oregonian too. I suppose it’s progress in media that dads were features in the park at all, huh? Sigh.

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