How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Dad-vertising or Bad-vertising: Nissan Altima’s Sidelined Dad

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So, the birth experience can be many things. Sometimes, it isn’t what you plan. For others, it can be exactly what you imagined. But Nissan has taken a stance on the childbirth experience that might cause a stir, especially as we lead up to Father’s Day…

Not every dad-to-be is suited to the task of being a support system during childbirth, but this guy isn’t even trying.

Point of fact, I auditioned for this commercial. Not as the N00B dad, but as a father who has been around the block, sitting in the hospital waiting room with my toddler son. I read the outline for the TV spot and a weird smirk crawled across my mouth with a sound resembling “Hmph.” I may have cocked my head to one side. This new dad was being sidelined by everyone else. Ineffectual and somewhat spineless, he never got in the game. I actually had Finn with me for the audition and it was HILARIOUS. Trying to fit my son into a controlled setting like a casting session was like trying to bottle kittens on PCP. But I digress.

I can’t say that this doesn’t represent some segment of dads somewhere, but is this bad advertising for dads? I mean we’re less than a week away from Father’s Day. Shouldn’t it all be rainbows, cigars and new ties for everyone?

I don’t need the media to lionize dads as a group, but I’ll be damned before I’m completely misrepresented.

Also? Salt N Pepa are probably doing a spit-take at this cover of “Whatta Man.” Just wow.

What do you think of this Nissan Altima commercial?

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18 Responses to “Dad-vertising or Bad-vertising: Nissan Altima’s Sidelined Dad”

  1. Erin B says:

    I see this as less of a commentary on the dad and more about what a crappy hospital!

  2. deneen says:

    on the whole, the advertising industry SUCKS! “if we can’t sell it with big boobs or sex, lets berate everyone and show our product as THE SAVIOUR” – Nissan is no better or worse than most business’ trying to advertise their product; as consumers, we need to let big business what is acceptable and what is not!

  3. Chris says:

    I don’t think it’s too bad. I remember as a new father feeling like I was getting pushed to the sidelines a lot too either by hospital staff or my wife’s family. I realized quickly to stand up to it, though.
    This is far better advertising than the ones that make dads out to be complete dolts who’ve never interacted with their child one-on-one.

  4. Joe Wickman says:

    After having 4 kids, I learned something. When your wife or child are in the hospital, YOU are the primary care-giver. The doctors and nurses are wonderful, but it’s up to you to be involved.
    My advice for this Dad: Grow a set!

  5. Lucas says:

    Sadly though, this is yet another example of advertisers minimalizing men in general… Think about all the ads you see with couples. The husband is always an idiot, the wife is a super woman who can do everything and the men are portrayed as about 1 step above a dying amoeba in intelligence. It’s sad.

  6. Nick says:

    If all Dad can do here is buckle a safety belt, the kid has a long road ahead. And why is putting the kid in the car “dad’s first job as dad”? Not impressed. And as for the song thing, not only would Salt N Pepa do a spit-take at this cover of their song, why did Nissan pick the song to begin with? Just because a song has lyrics that fit your intended message does not mean that the song will elicit the response you wanted from your audience.

    • Bill M says:

      His first job as a dad was putting the baby in the car, and I’m just guessing here, because it was a CAR COMMERCIAL. If it was a formula commercial, I would imagine they’d have him feeding the baby from a bottle. If it was a diaper commercial, he’d be powdering a butt.

  7. Melanie D. says:

    Aside from the negative image of a dad, this commercial’s ultimate goal is to sell cars by promoting car seat safety, at which it fails miserably. That is not how you check a harness for tightness! Ugh! At least the chest clip is positioned appropriately, but in reality a newborn isn’t going to be in a convertible car seat to begin with. Mom would have strapped the baby into an infant seat back in her hospital room and Dad would just snap it into place. You couldn’t have him checking the level to make sure the angle is correct, or installing the LATCH, or any of that? Nope? Just have him wiggle on the too loose harness straps like he’s being helpful…argh.

  8. Bill M says:

    To be fair, I couldn’t vote in your poll. You had two extremes listed and neither I agreed with.

    I remember when my son was born, I lost my mind trying to change his diaper the first time. I wasn’t ready to actually do the things that needed done to care for a baby. It’s not uncommon for anyone, DADS included, to have these issues.

    I believe the commercial was making light of the fact that some/many new dads have trouble doing things that they should be able to do. But, you learn. And in 30 – 60 seconds, they can’t portray all of that.

    To me, the ad was meant to poke light fun at the fact this particular guy wasn’t up to the challenge just yet. Nothing more insidious than that.

    • BrittD says:

      I’m only assuming that you had a child over a decade ago. Men are more involved in the birth process in America now. This is unrealistic. Why was she giving birth ALONE?! No sister, mother, best friend or coach but most appallingly; no spouse. Is that what birth is suppose to be like? The woman screaming in pain while giving birth in a room which offers as much ‘warmth’ as a jail cell, nurses rushing around her while her husband watches from a small window? That’s terrifying and sad. If that were a real woman, I would feel bad for her for having to go through that alone without any form of comfort. 🙁

  9. Jen says:

    Phoebe and I auditioned for this up here too 😉

  10. Liz says:

    The scene just after the birth when the dad has his arms open to hold his kid for the first time and they just ignore him completely tweaked my inner she-wolf. This isn’t about the dad being new and not knowing what to do. This is about the fact he wanted to try and they wouldn’t let him. If that had happened to my husband when our son was born, even in the middle of everything I would have raged like only a crazy pregnant woman can.

  11. Lindsey says:

    I agree, the dad in this commercial was very spineless! When I had both of my children, the hubby was right by my side so much that the nurses had to ask him to move so they could work! Eventually, I had to tell him to sit in the chair by my bed and I’d holler if I needed him! While that dad and my husband represent both ends of the spectrum, I like to think most dads fall in the middle. Available, visible, and helpful, but also tucked out of the way so that medical professionals can do their work as well. No, Nissan totally missed the ball on this one; they weren’t even in the park!

  12. Vincent says:

    The sad truth, most men are undervalued as father’s sadly. Some men don’t’ have the common knowledge of what fatherhood is meant to be, because they grew up without a man in their life to show them the proper way of being a father. This add is not bashing men, it’s clever marketing using men as the scape goat and appealing to the ultimate decision maker, our wives!

    Let’s face it, this isn’t like the days when dad came home with a new car & mom approved. She is contributing to the whole house and has equal say!

    That’s it!

  13. Sio says:

    It’s funny hearing your perspective from a male mind. As a woman, I am incredibly offended by this ad. I see a mom doing the most painful thing ever to birth the baby and song says what a mighty good man? Because he puts the baby in the car seat he is a mighty good man?? Nothing about the might good woman who did a lot more than that??

  14. Allan says:

    I Hate the commercial. I was in the delivery room for 4 births. I Held legs, saw things that were disturbing, cut the cord for all 4 kids. I had a good view of and participation in everything that happened. I had more time with my children in the delivery room than my wife. This guy must be a pushover for not asserting his right to be there.

    Nissan has American delivery room participation wrong.

  15. Robert says:

    I know its not he actor’s fault but there is a problem with the commercial. At the end it notes that his first job for “her” referring to her safety. However, you watch throughout the baby is pushed by the doctor/nurse in the hospital and there is a blue label. The nursery shows both blue and pink labels for each baby. The baby he buckles in is wrapped in a blue blanket and wearing blue. It may be just me but it appears that they refer to a girl all the while referencing directly or indirectly that the baby is a boy. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

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