Creating Change in Advertising

Nightmist writes "From time to time, I e-mail various corporations about their advertising campaigns. If I find a campaign particularly offensive to men, I send a scathing e-mail. If I find a campaign presenting men in a rare positive light, I will send a congratulatory e-mail. Recently, I sent one of each to Tylenol. Click "Read More" below for the results of those letters."

A few months ago, I sent the scathing one, admonishing Tylenol for their father-hating "Tylenol for Women" ad, which started out with the words "Face it, guys. It's a woman's world." I received no reply from them, but I noticed that a few weeks later the ad had been edited and shortened, cutting out the "Woman's World" comments.

More recently, Tylenol stopped running that ad and is now running an ad called "Baby Boom," which features a father doing dishes and dancing around to the sound of his baby clanging two pot lids together. The catch at the end is: "Sometimes the difference between noise and music is all in your head." I sent Tylenol a favorable e-mail on this one for a couple of reasons:

1) This commercial was not presented in a "Hey! Look! It's a gender role reversal!" fashion. The father was doing dishes, the kid was clanging pot lids. No mother was present or walking out the door to be a breadwinner. No big deal was made about the father doing dishes.

2) The father and child were having a good time together. No female chaperones were necessary.

Here's the response I received from Tylenol about this commercial:

Thanks for visiting our website and taking the time to contact us
about your satisfaction with our TYLENOL (TM) commercial
depicting a father and child. It is always gratifying when customers are thoughtful enough to let us know when they are pleased with our efforts.

Our first responsibility is to our diverse group of consumers and their families. The TYLENOL (TM) name is your guarantee of our commitment to you. We've worked hard to earn your trust; we'll work even harder to keep it.

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