Archive for Family Values
Since this is a blog about ‘virtuous advertising’, when I saw the latest Joe’s Crab Shack commercial this morning I leaped out of bed to post it for everyone to see. Based on this ad, I’m not sure who Joe’s target audience is. Since the ad features a family dining at the restaurant, one would think that it was aimed at young families, however after each of the each of the two children say “Oh Shit!” following their parents, I’m starting to think otherwise. Is the restaurant trying to target teens and young adults who may find this funny? I’m still not sure what Joe’s Crab Shack was thinking, but the ad has already been banned on FOX, Turner Network, and The Discovery Channel.
Family values are a central part of the traditional American life. The traditional family presented in images and media consists of a stay-at-home mom, a working dad, and their children. Today’s modern families, however, don’t necessarily fit this mold. Modern families may consists of dual career parents, single parent, same sex parent families, or families with no children at all.
With a variety of modern family types, some Americans believe the traditional family values of love, security, and nurturing are losing their importance in modern culture. How can advertising help to promote these family values? Through messages that emphasize family over work, family teamwork, and spending time together as a family, no matter what your family may look like.
Dual-career families are more prevalent than ever in modern society. Families with two incomes tend to have higher discretionary spending and less traditional household decision roles. But most importantly, dual-career families can suffer from role overload, meaning parents may have less time because they juggle a career and family.
This TV spot for MassMutual depicts a workaholic father who faces a difficult decision between work and family:
The father, who has a great office with a fantastic view, chooses to move his office to home to spend more time with his daughter. The commercial asks the consumer, “What is the sign of a good decision?” The spot clearly supports spending time with family as a good decision. This classic debate over work and family has been featured many times in popular media, including movies like Click with Adam Sandler.
This TV spot for Stouffer’s uses family values like teamwork, spending time together, and creating memories to promote their dinner entrees:
The copy states: “Tonight’s dinner specials: teamwork, time together, real conversations, and memories. All for under $2 a serving.” Stouffer’s attempts to position their dinners as a way for families to connect and spend time together.
MassMutual and Stouffer’s are just two examples of brands using family values in advertising messages. These brands recognize the diversity of modern families and a problem that many families face: choosing between work and time with family.
Family values are not uncommon in advertisements today, especially within household product categories. It takes consumers like us to identify the positive messages and family values in advertising today and to realize the socially responsible implications of these messages.
What examples of family values have you seen in advertisements lately?