Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: SMA Ad: What about the Dads?!

Friday, 24 January 2014

SMA Ad: What about the Dads?!

You have probably seen the SMA advert that's been shown on TV for the past few months...

It advertises their follow on milk (Which we use, big fan of the product!) and shows a series of Mothers going about the daily struggles of life with a baby - from the young mother who has just got her baby ready to go out and sniffs his nappy to discover that he needs changing again (it's happened to us all!) to the mother relaxing in the bath only to find a rubber ducky in a rather uncomfortable place....

The advert is fun, it reflects the daily struggles of motherhood and it's closing phrase of "Trust us, you're doing great" is a nice little fact it almost brought a tear to my hormonal, over-tired eyes the first time I saw it.

But then I realised....nowhere in that advert are fathers mentioned.

The voice over talks about SMA's many years of producing baby products, and how well they understand Mums...the entire focus of the campaign is on Mums.

But don't Dad's struggle to adjust their lives when they become parents too?

Doesn't a father need the reassurance that he is also doing great?!

One night while chilling out watching some TV, after he had spent the last hour battling to get Tyne down to sleep after he had bathed him and given him his supper - Jon commented on the advert without any prompting from me....saying simply "Oh that's nice, what about me?!"

Surely in this day and age, where the notion of a woman's place being in the home and where family structures are more varied than they have ever been before - isn't it just a little outdated to direct an entire ad campaign purely at mothers? Insinuating that only mothers are working hard to raise their children and are all doing a great job of it?

Would it have been such a stretch to use the phrase "We know parents..." rather than "We know Mums..."?

Would it not have been a good idea to include just one or two frames of a busy and demented Dad?

I know that some families do keep to the traditional roles of Mother & Father and that's fine...but in our household, Jon is just as important and just as busy as I am.

He goes out to work, and I work from home - we are equally responsible for the care of our child, and Jon takes a very active role in his life. 

He gets up with him, he puts him to bed some nights, he feeds him at night time if he wakes, he feeds him his meals if he's not working, he changes his nappies, he washes his clothes....he does just as much for Tyne as I do, and I know that this is also the case for many other families.

And what about families were there is no mother? I'm sure there are plenty of single fathers or all-male families who buy SMA's products for their children who are simply not represented in this ad campaign.

Ok, ok I know its just an advert - I don't mean to get on my soapbox about it - I just think it's a little outdated.

Come on SMA, get with the times!!!!


  1. great post! I totally agree and thought that myself when I watched it! although I do like that bit of reassurance at the end!

    Lou x

  2. Totally agree. Ads annoy me so much the way they continue to portray mothers. Iceland ads annoy me so much - their wee theme tune used to be "Iceland makes it easy for mums to get it right" like if we get it anything but right we are failures and dads never get it wrong! X

  3. I didn't think of this until now! Totally right, it's a big adjustment for men, they deserve some recognition too! Although it is me that does most 'baby' things here ;) x

  4. Wee Tyne's so fortunate to have you both!


  5. Can't say I've had any experience myself, but I totally agree. The dads never seem get any sort of acknowledgement, and I'm sure there are plenty of stay at home dads who do the 'primary' daytime childcare whilst the mother works!

  6. Bravo! My wife & I were both full-time carers in the first year of our twins' lives & it was really hard work for both of us! Even when a Dad is working as is traditional a new baby / babies is still a huge change. Great post, thank you x

  7. Great post I did notice this when I saw the advert. definitely should say parents rather than mum's.

  8. I understand the point you're getting at & yes I agree dads are over looked BUT as it's follow on milk I think they're trying to enthasise the transaction from breast to bottle. Mothers are born with natural instinct to parent where as fathers have to learn. A man cannot carry a child nor can they breast feed therefore it does make some sense. A mother takes on average a year for her body/hormones to return to normal so they're infact trying to point out we do actually do great as it is hard work. I'm a single mother, have been since my son was 4 weeks old. If some fathers were to experience what we do, I think most would change their perspective

  9. well said! I have seen some lovely adverts in the last couple of years that do show the father side but agree it still seems that the main focus is on mums.

    I actually know a guy who is a stay at home dad and goes to the "mother" and baby groups, perhaps the advertising agencies should get out and interview the stay at home dads and move forward with their campaigns

  10. I hate this advert. A man makes an appearance as the long suffering hero smamum looks on. So cringeworthy. As a Dad bringing up a baby I will avoid this product, due to the incredibly sexist and one sided view. A man or a woman is capable of giving a baby follow on milk. So annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!


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