Flap over Tide ads glorifying stay-at-home dad

A video still from the "Tide Dad Long Version" advertisement on YouTube. YouTube/MyTideTV

A video still from the "Tide Dad Long Version" advertisement on YouTube.
YouTube/MyTideTV

Advertisements for laundry products often feature women, but new commercials from Tide feature a stay-at-home dad. He's shown throughout the ads folding a small child's laundry.

We here at "Eye on Parenting" must admit it's kind of hypnotizing to see this man fold clothing. However, there seems to be much more going on in this advertisement than housework. We'll let you be the judge.

In the TV spot, the "father" actor says, "I'm a stay-at-home dad. And let me tell ya, doing laundry is classic problem-solving. I mean, kids make stains, I use Tide Boost to super-charge our detergent. Boom -- the clothes look amazing, and Daddy? Well, he's a hero. Oh, see this thing here? (He points to a child garment) It was covered in freezer pop. And since I won't have to wash it twice to get it clean, well, now I get to spend a little more me time."

A child actor enters the room and asks, "Daddy, can you french braid my hair?"

The father replies, "Herring bone or fish tail?"

The child answers, "Herring bone."

But there's more to this dad than he reveals. The "long" version of the spot  is drastically different, showing another side to this dad. Check it out here.

The "father" actor alone is featured in the "long" version, and he calls himself, with some panache, "a dad-mom," touting his ability to fold his child's clothing with "complete accuracy." He adds, "And, with (this product), I can use the brute strength of Dad to mix with the nurturing abilities of my laundry detergent. ... Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to do pull-ups and crunches in the other room."

One commenter on this video remarked, "This is the first commercial for a cleaning product without a woman in it that I've ever seen. But of course, the underlying argument is 'Doing laundry doesn't mean you've got no nuts,' and he's a 'dad-mom,' so we don't forget that laundry is women's work. But, I suppose (men) should consider this a milestone."

Another commented, "Wow -- pretty obnoxious. I'm a stay-at-home dad, not a dad-mom. Seriously, Tide? Who is this ad supposed to appeal to?"

What do you think of these depictions of the stay-at-home dad? Do the ads convey underlying messages about parenting, housework and gender? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

  • Amanda Cochran

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