The New Chevrolet Malibu Ad Depicts Fathers’ Work-Family Priorities

Chevy Malibu* launched a new ad campaign that extols the virtues of valuing family over materialism. This rare and honest depiction of everyday dads is a refreshing change from the glitz we often see.

A screencap of Chevrolet Malibu's positive depiction of fathers and work-life balance

A screencap of Chevrolet Malibu’s positive depiction of fathers and work-life balance

When I watch TV, I almost always tune out the commercials. But while watching the World Series the other night, there was an ad that grabbed and kept my attention. (In fact, my wife, whose only flaw is that she dislikes baseball, was in the room at the time and told me “this ad would make for a good blog post for you”)

Car ads typically try to entice the buyer by showing how THIS car will make others see you as richer, cooler, more sophisticated, more powerful. This ad for the 2014 Chevy Malibu stands out- It extols the virtues of valuing relationships with children, significant others, and family over career ambition and status-seeking. It’s worth watching:

“Chevy Malibu: The Car For the Richest Guys on Earth”

Instead of playing up how this car will make you look and feel rich, Chevy turns the concept on its head. Stating that those who take their kids to school, prioritize family over work, and spend time being family men are the “richest guys on Earth” makes for a refreshingly honest reflection of many dads’ experiences. And it certainly vibes with the target market for a solid and sensible, if conventional, car like the Malibu.

The script includes the following nuggets:

We don’t jump at the sound of the opening bell, because we’re trying to make the school bell

Corner booth beats corner office any day

We’re more into being a partner than making partner

Now, I admit I’m partial to this ad because it is consistent with much of what I write here at FWF and at other venues, but this ad resonated with me because it is a rare positive mainstream depiction of real fathers, and especially of fathers struggling for work and family balance.

The ad touches on something real and generally neglected in the media. I suspect that this will be a very successful ad campaign for Chevy as it highlights something true. This ad is consistent with several other brands’ recent realistic marketing to dads (see my posts about Expedia, Huggies, and Tide). It is indeed a welcome trend to see dads depicted as caring and capable parents in the media.

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What do you think about this advertisement? About the trend of more respectful and realistic media depictions of fathers? Let’s discuss in the comments section.

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* I have no relationship with Chevrolet (In fact, I own 2 Toyotas). I just liked the commercial, and I highlight positive media portrayals of dads on this blog from time to time.

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7 Comments

  1. This is great, adverts like these can play an important role in breaking down old gender stereotypes surrounding childcare.

    Reply
  2. laura M

     /  October 31, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this–a very well done ad, and I liked that it showed the corner booth father-son moment, which those who are involved, loving fathers of young kids hope will play out when they’re retired.

    Reply
    • Agreed. we (I) often focus on the work-family angle as dealing only with your children/spouse. However, family is much broader than that, and definitely includes realtionships with your parents and other relatives. I agree that was a nice touch.

      Reply
  3. As I watched our beloved Red Sox win the World Series, I was impressed by the number of commercials that showed dads in a positive light, including LeBron James’ new Samsung commercial. My son remarked that “The New Dad” commercials were much better than the ones about beer :)
    Thanks for continuing to focus attention on this important topic!

    Reply
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