Bank on it

A vintage dad. Via Flickr user dawnnakaya.

A vintage dad. Via Flickr user dawnnakaya.

A commercial for a bank has played lately on the radio, and it promises the usual: The bank can make your finances easy to manage and help realize all your dreams.

The narrator speaks of a parent taking care of the kids during the day, throwing dinner in a slow-cooker, paying the bills — but this isn’t a stay-at-home mom. It’s a dad.

It’s different to hear a commercial that includes a stay-at-home father, though it isn’t rare to see stay-at-home moms. For instance, almost every cleaning commercial features an effervescent woman relishing in the act of washing dishes or mopping the floor after her filthy children, like cleaning is the best thing ever and no boys are allowed. No, this particular bank commercial has a dad with triplets.

The number of stay-at-home dads has been increasing in the U.S. over the past few years. That was bound to happen as women now outnumber men in college, and are therefore more likely to have higher-paying jobs than their male counterparts. The recession may have also played a part, forcing some people out of the workplace and into the home.

This bank commercial shows a change (or maybe just a shift) in our culture. It wasn’t long ago that stay-at-home dads were ridiculed. Caring for kids wasn’t “manly,” whatever that means. Now, stay-at-home dads are still somewhat frowned upon, but as their numbers increase, they gain more acceptance. On the opposite side of the coin, it took awhile for people to accept women in the workplace who weren’t secretaries, but for the most part, that is a relic of the past. Someday, so will the rejection of stay-at-home dads.

Besides all of this, the commercial accomplishes exactly what the bank wants. The stay-at-home dad character makes you remember the commercial, and therefore the company, more. You think a little better of the bank and its values.

It’s good marketing for the bank and stay-at-home dads.

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