Peanut Butter Cheerios has set out to craft the ultimate anthem for dads.
In a new online video released Sunday, the cereal brand salutes father figures for being fun-loving, unconventional and totally capable parents.
Created by Tribal Worldwide Toronto, the fast-paced, uptempo spot begins with a man waking up to his son sitting on his chest in a horse mask. “Is that a new mask?” he asks. “I love it. It’s really creepy.”
From there, he launches into an impassioned speech about the awesomeness of fatherhood. “Hey, let me introduce myself,” he says. “My name is dad. And proud of it – all dads should be.”
In the span of two minutes and 12 seconds, the dad gives a piggy back ride, wakes up one kid, teaches another about the most infamous Star Wars plot twist, hands over coffee to his wife, comments on his teen daughters’ profile pic, gets his son to take the trash out and, of course, feeds his kids Peanut Butter Cheerios.
The spot ends with the dad branding Peanut Butter Cheerios as “The Official Cereal of Dadhood,” a label General Mills is sticking on boxes as the product returns to shelves as a permanent item after a limited release back in March 2013.
It’s all part of the brand’s “How To Dad” campaign, an effort to appeal to fathers as they become key decision makers in the grocery aisle.
Citing a Nielsen Homescan study from Dec. 2013, General Mills director of marketing Jason Doolan said 43% of Canadian households now have a man as either the principal or co-grocery shopper, a number that’s doubled since 2008.
Given that influence over decisions in the grocery category, Doolan said General Mills thought it was high time to spotlight fathers in its marketing.
“Dads have taken on this role in the household for a number of years now, and they really haven’t been getting any credit for it,” Doolan said, noting that few other brands are currently speaking to dads, creating an opportunity for the label to win affinity.
Josh Stein, creative director at Tribal Worldwide Toronto, said he thought it was also time for dads to be portrayed as more than the comedic foils they’re often written as in ads. “The portrayal [of dads] in its typical fashion that we’ve become accustomed to seeing is just not true.”
“We felt it was the right time to give dad his anthem.”
Using Tumblr, Tribal Worldwide Toronto also created HowToDad.ca, a site of clips, images, graphics and diagrams that celebrate dads in the same tongue-in-cheek way as the video. One post features a venn diagram of “Awesome” and ‘Responsible” with “Stay Here” in the overlapping space. Another, which is currently hanging in Stein’s office, says simply, “Work Hard. Dad Hard.”
In addition to the long form spot and the Tumblr content, the agency created four 15-second clips featuring the dad character walking with his kids in slow motion, a la Reservoir Dogs, that will run as preroll on YouTube and AOL.
The media buy for the campaign, handled by Cossette, also includes sponsored posts on Facebook, sponsored tweets and display ads that will run on TSN, The Globe and Mail and The Weather Network.