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New Cheerios ad busts the 'idiot dad' stereotype


TV dads often get a bad rap when it comes to domestic skills. Sitcoms and ads regularly portray fathers as bumbling dolts when it comes to the household chores and child rearing, happy to let the better-informed moms save the day. But Cheerios has flipped that script with "#HowToDad."

Released last month as part of the brand's Canadian campaign for Peanut Butter Cheerios according to AdWeek, the commercial stars a confident father marching around the house, solving problems and doling out advice like a champ. He doesn't flinch as he's awakened by a child in a horse mask flopping on his body, and proceeds to rouse and feed his kids -- Cheerios, naturally -- without breaking a sweat.

He's dad and he's proud.

"Being awesome isn't about breaking rules, it's about making them," he confidently declares.

As AdWeek points out, the style is reminiscent of the now-famous 2010 Old Spice ad, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," which has racked up nearly 50 million views on YouTube.

The ad marks the the second time in a little over a year that the company behind the popular breakfast cereal has sought to challenge the status quo in a commercial. Late last spring an interracial family featured in a Cheerios ad sparked such an intense negative backlash from some viewers that the company had to shut down commenting on the ad's YouTube page, according to The Huffington Post.

General Mills responded to the backlash by featuring the same family in yet another ad that aired during the Super Bowl, making it the first Cheerios ad ever run during the wildly popular annual game according to the New York Times.

The new ad hasn't sparked the level of controversy, with many of the top YouTube comments coming from supportive dads.

"I am one of these dad guys and I approve of this message," Jef Oliver wrote.

What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know.

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swimdude1978 August 06 2014 at 5:59 PM

I am glad to finally see this stereotype being busted. I have been a Single Dad with custody for 11 years. My daughter is a member of National Honor Society and recipient of Presidents Academic Excellence award. I have women chastise me all the time about being a single dad with custody, about how that is just wrong for the child. Frankly I think Men make great parents and it's the women that need to prove themselves as parents.

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1 reply
lbbatthebeach swimdude1978 August 06 2014 at 8:13 PM

My husband (who died a few months ago) raised his son from age 5 to adulthood as a single father after his first wife decided she didn't want to be a wife/mother anymore and simply walked away. His son was so lucky to have been raised by a kind, loving, honorable man who put the boy's needs first - rather than by his flaky, disinterested mother.

More power to you, sir!

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effinie August 06 2014 at 7:28 PM

What a great commercial. Celebrates the involved dad and spouse!

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Fred August 06 2014 at 4:57 PM

Cheerios and other brands, are made for kids. They are over- loaded with sugar, way to sweet even for kids. Thats where greed comes in, its all about money.

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2 replies
effinie Fred August 06 2014 at 7:30 PM

When was the last time you even had a box of Cheerios? Loaded with sugar? Nope. Healthier than a an average box of kids' cereal? Definitiely.

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lbbatthebeach Fred August 06 2014 at 8:15 PM

Cheerios aren't loaded with sugar! There is undoubtedly some sugar in the Peanut Butter variety - but regular Cheerios are pretty healthy!

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patriot1too August 07 2014 at 7:16 AM

This is great. American Dads have suffered for too long in silence due to the gender bias against fathers in our legal system and in so many products ads.. For a long long time we have chosin to boycott any product that shows fathers in any bad light at all. For decades millions of American fathers have been forced to be absent from his own children against his will and then labled by the system as absent Dad. Even when he was forced to be absent for no reason. At the same time the female co-parent (so called mom) is allowed to exploit him and his child for unearned income ( with no accountability) and manic control by playing the victim mom, single mom scam. The media has spin doctored this into bad dad, good mom for too long and these products have used that falsehood in their ads for too long. This is a great ad. God bless American fathers who have suffered for too long.

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lightyrs1 August 07 2014 at 8:38 AM

Well, the War On Men has been going on at least since the 70's. It's about time there's a little spark of praise. It goes a long way. Men don't need to be showered with praise...but we also don't need to be bashed & stereotyped.

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mcgrmc8 August 06 2014 at 6:26 PM

yes, I'd like to know who the F'in Ahole was who started the stereotype, It was getting way beyond cute and clever to sickening, finally a change

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r_porterfield August 07 2014 at 10:12 AM

This is great. I'm a woman but I get so tired of men being portrayed as idiots. My dad was awesome and my husband is awesome. I don't think men are better than women but I also don't think women are better than men. Some of us are dumb and some are not. It has to do with the individual, not the sex. Kids need more positive male role models. Period.

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pat August 07 2014 at 9:30 AM

It's an advertisement disguised as an article.

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vendelavee August 07 2014 at 9:09 AM

Women and Feminists ARE always complain about sexist stereotyping of women in TV commercials, TV shows and movies but there are TONS of them about men TOO.

In almost ever TV commercial with a man and women, the man is portrayed as a dope, immature or goofball and the woman as smarter, mature and more responsible. Talk about Gender bias!

In Movies and TV shows, the villains and criminals are always men, the bad parent is always the man, the weirdo, boob or goofball is always a man, the greedy, evil, self centered person is always a man, etc.

Women are rarely portrayed in a negative way with any negative traits or engaging in negative, bad or criminal behavior.

At worst, women are sometimes portrayed as mean, selfish and manipulative.

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Tanya Stillman August 07 2014 at 9:05 AM

I married a man that had full custody of his son and witnessed his abilities to be anything but an idiot! He is an awesome dad who later got injured and turned into the soccer dad and I went to work. This looked like my house

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