Huggies Ad Removed: Failed Humor at Dads to Blame
Why did Huggies’ ad fail in its attempt to humour dad’s across the country? The popular diaper brand, Huggies hope for a light-hearted teaser campaign that would honor fathers by poking fun and labelling them as fumbling parents, backfired as it suddenly “hit a nerve” among dads. Now the advertisement is being pulled from its Facebook campaign after unleashing an unexpected backlash from the very same customers it was hoping to woo.
Poor marketing techniques that reflected a stagnant worldview of gender roles and tell-tale disregard for customer demographics seemed at the root of the problem. What should have been a fun series of events where “mom” customers nominated their spouses to participate in the Huggies’ campaign, did not turn out so well for the top brand maker. The dads, housed together, were handed Huggies diapers, and wipes, and were left alone for 5 days with their demanding babies while viewers were asked to watch the fun unfold on Facebook.
Kimberly-Clark manufacturing, in piloting the launch of the Huggies campaign that would put the famous diaper brand to the “dad test” must have anticipated an exciting outcome to re-energize the product along social media lines and create a renewed buzz in sales for the diaper giant.
What Huggies apparently did not realize was that the old tradition of men’s off-handed, cavalier approach to the domestic side of parenting had shifted to a new paradigm where one-third of fathers cherish and nurture their role as dedicated, diaper-changing dads. With role reversals and game changing in the workforce occurring more readily, particularly in today’s depressed economy, men are no longer distinguished as chief breadwinners of households, yet, thousands are playing the role of single dads.
This is a major reason for the failed ad campaign. It has touched on a highly sensitive nature-- the Huggies ad opened up old wounds for many “good” dads who are committed to raising their children single-handed--but who are continually haunted by the stereotypical label of being clueless and aloof.Continued on the next page