For about one-third of babies and young children, their primary caregiver is their father. And most dads today pitch in with child care and have some working knowledge of how a diaper works. So it’s not hard to see why some parents are annoyed at the new “Dad Test” campaign for Huggies diapers. The concept: leaving babies alone with their dads for five days is somehow the “ultimate test” of the quality of diapers and wipes.
We can’t embed the video, but you can view it on Facebook here. For the ad, five babies and dads spent five days hanging out in a house, doing normal family things, and using Huggies. This comprises some kind of test. While the ads are supposed to be a celebration of fatherhood, many viewers see the message as, “Huggies are so great, even dads can manage to use them.” And to modern parents, this is offensive.
To find out if dads will make it for 5 days alone with their babies is NOT a way to “celebrate fatherhood.” Most dads don’t struggle with infant care today and, in fact, 32% of dads are the primary caregiver. Also, Time Magazine, in article last year titled “Chore Wars,” found that dads are nearing equality to moms in time spent with their children. Clearly most dads know what a diaper is and how to use it.
If the idea is that the diapers will be put through a series of tests while cameras roll, that’s one thing, but the clear implication is that leaving dads with their babies is the test. For many families, that’s not a test: that’s everyday life.