Trigger warning: this post will involve emotions. Some dads are a little shy about dealing with emotions. It’s one thing to scream and chest pound over a touchdown with your buddies; it’s another thing to shed a tear because your six-year-old daughter pirouetted in her dance recital. Many of the best television commercials about fatherhood and being a real dad seem to acknowledge the treacherous territory that is emotions. Many of these great commercials also wring that tear from you anyway.

Dadhood Reigns

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) blended Alpha Male machismo with super-softy sweetness in Tea Pot, featuring WWE wrestler Roman Reigns. Working with his real daughter, Reigns flexes for the sake of his little girl, melting hearts in the process. Reigns reminds us that the smallest moments in your child’s life can mean the most.

What makes this commercial so appealing is the down-to-earth simplicity of it, with just the two of them playing tea party on the living room floor. No fireworks, special effects, not even a musical soundtrack. Just a great Dad and his little girl. The NRFC is right, too: even just a few minutes with your kids can make a lasting memory.

NRFC also has a delightful series of kids [trying their best at] telling Dad jokes. The jokes are awful (nope; you get no freebies here, you have to watch the clip and write them down for yourself) but the point is great:

  • Why do kids love Dad jokes?
  • Because they come from Dad

You cannot teach your kid a Dad joke unless you actually interact with your kid. And the Law of Dad Humor totally overturns the Law of the Standup Comic: explaining the joke to your seven-year-old is completely necessary and does not destroy the nutritive fun value of it at all.

Here; in typical Dad fashion, allow us to explain. Here’s the joke:

  • What did the buffalo say to his son when he left for college? Bison.

Now, this completely lame Dad joke will elicit a groan from a 13-year-old, but the seven-year-old has no idea what “buffalo,” “college,” or “bison” mean, so you have to explain it. In detail. Several times. And then explain the pun part in the most exquisite detail: “Bye, son,” and “bison.” And then listen patiently as your child attempts to tell it back to you:

  • “Why did the bison send his son to college? No. Wait. Why … why … what … When did the buffalo tell his son …. No, wait. What did the bison say to his son in college?”

This could take days. Many long, long days. And every minute is pure, platinum-plated quality time with your kid.

All right, all right. We’re not cruel. Here’s a link to an all-too-long list of Dad jokes. Harvest the gold yourself.

Bumbling Dad

A recurring theme several years ago, several years in a row, was the Bumbling Dad. Since women could no longer be targets of derision by advertisers, they turned to men, and we entered an era of just plain stupid male adults hawking diapers, beer, and cars.  The trend was so pervasive that this year’s Super Bowl, always a fertile field for harvesting family-friendly fruit, was notable for its lack of sub-cretinous morons. Fatherly even devoted a column to “Dadvertising.”

One ad shows the Eternal Struggle of Dad trying to live up to Mom’s cooking skills. All it takes in this instance is a little ReddiWip.

The ad works because it is underplayed and gives you the voiceover of the struggling Dad attempting to please his daughter. What Virginia Dad has not had that monologue churning in his head? A simple dollop of Readi-wip leads to instant “greatification.”

Science Unfair

As kids get older, they lose some of their cuteness and acquire some rather unpleasant habits, like procrastination and being teenagers. The lowly Pam cooking spray nails this very Virginia Dad moment with Science Fair, which somehow equates success on the 8th grade project with preparing a lasagna (WTF?).

We cannot quite get the leap either, but at least this dad is a) competent, b) multitalented, and c) upbeat instead of a dimwit.

Out on A High Note

Fathers4Justice rated a Cheerios commercial — yup, a Cheerios commercial —  the best Dad commercial ever (up until that year, of course, 2015). Why? Because in two minutes and 12 seconds a Dad recites all the reasons why Dads are wonderful, why being a Dad is wonderful, and why Cheerios is wonderful (of course; it’s a cereal ad underneath all the paternal praise).

If you want a quick refresher in How To Be Awesome, watch the ad. If you need to talk to an attorney, wipe the peanut butter off your cell phone and call 757-383-9184. You can speak to us at The Firm For Men, or contact us online, if you can find your laptop (it’s under the cat). We can help with child support, child custody, parenting time, and other Dad issues.