Madison Avenue's Go-To Guy – The Clueless Husband/Father

Mrs. Blather and I have a running joke now. Whenever we’re watching television, at least once during every commercial break we’ll look at each other, smile, and say in unison, “And there he is.”

The “he” is the most ubiquitous character in television advertising–the Doofus Dad/Hapless Husband. And he is always accompanied by a wise, patient, all-knowing wife and/or bemused, eye-rolling children. Oh, here he is now . . .

And here he is again . . .

Indeed, once you become sensitized to his presence, you’ll see Doofus Dad/Hapless Husband everywhere! Of course, this is no accident.

Madison avenue knows that most of the consumer buying decisions in this country are made by women. And they appear convinced that the fastest way to the American woman’s heart (and therefore pocketbook) is to assure her she’s intellectually superior to her husband. An equally ubiquitous theme is the sage and savvy child patiently explaining things to Doofus Dad.

One of the most offensive examples of this I’ve ever seen is on display in a fairly new AT&T U-Verse ad. Here the All-Wise Wife and the Tech-Savvy Daughter try to explain the concept of wireless Internet to a husband/father who is apparently dumber than Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

{Looking for link to ad}

Okay, I take it back. That AT&T ad is only the third-most-offensive of this crowded genre. Here are two that cast away all subtlty and nuance and just go ahead and calls husbands and fathers “horse’s behinds” and jackasses.

More on this subject in an upcoming post. I have some rant left in me on this.