The message of a new cellphone commercial out of Thailand is clear -- technology will never replace love. But the storyline DTAC uses to get there elicits a few very different reactions.
In the spot, a new dad leans over his crying baby in a crib, looking scared and confused. He calls his wife, and starts a video call so that she can soothe the baby. She sings and coos, but nothing works. Because -- lightbulb! -- he needs to pick up his baby all on his own.
To some modern dads, this scenario might seem a little baffling. "The 'clueless dad' is becoming as irrelevant as the dodo bird and the Harlem Shake," says Doyin Richards, who blogs at Daddy Doin' Work and The Huffington Post. "Dads in 2014 actually pick up babies, soothe babies, and nurture babies when they're crying without seeking consultation from their spouses," he continued.
On the other hand, not all dads -- or moms, for that matter -- are so confident right off the bat. "If we want honest representations of fathers in commercials, that means we don't just show the strong, engaged, confident fathers. That means we show the scared ones too. They exist. I was one of them," John Kinnear of Ask Your Dad Blog admits.
As far as how the spot portrays the intersection of technology and parenting today, Kinnear, Lance Somerfeld of NYC Dads Group, and perhaps the 7 million + people who have viewed the ad on YouTube agree that it hits the nail on the head. "As parents, we frequently gravitate towards technology and crowdsourcing when faced with challenges, instead of focusing on our tried and true gut instincts," Somerfeld says. But just like in real life, the dad in the commercial realizes that all his baby really needs is him.
"Mission accomplished with this ad," Somerfeld said.
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