Thursday, April 8, 2010

Folgers Father, Daughter and boyfriend proposing coffee commercial misses the mark.

The 2010 Folgers father daughter boyfriend coffee commercial is a taffy twist of old values and doing the right thing; that kind of ends up being a bit offensive.

When I researched this commercial I discovered I could not find it on YouTube. This didn't surprise me as the Folgers Father Daughter commercial fumbles away what could have been a special father daughter moment within a commercial.

As I searched the internet looking for the commercial so I could post it within this article, I found feminists up in arms and conservative women teary eyed here and here. On a forum called "I hate commercials", everybody seems to be bringing up most of the controversial issues, but not tying them together the way I have below.

I found the feminist viewpoint typically angry and outraged, but for the wrong reasons. Being offended because a daughter still lives at home in her late twenties is missing the point. A woman can have more freedom living at home IF SHE IS SAVING MONEY because of it.

Some people with a conscience may feel guilty dating others if they have debt, so if living at home enables either a male or female TO SAVE MONEY or avoid going into debt, then there is no need to ridicule their living situation as the feminist viewpoint did.

Additionally, feminists being outraged because the dad was watching her every move also misses the point that the dad KNEW SOMETHING was going to happen and he just couldn't wait to find out.

The more conservative viewpoint instantly connects with a similar father daughter moment in their own lives and are won over early on.

But these contrasting interpretations appear to only use the first 20 seconds of the commercial to form their opinion and in that regard seem to be ignoring the most controversial part of the commercial. It is the very last line of dialogue in the Folgers engagement commercial that appears to have been tossed out with the coffee grounds by both sides, yet that last line of dialogue is what makes the commercial somewhat offensive in my opinion.

As you can see, the folgers father, daughter, boyfriend engagement commercial doesn't seem to last on the net, and maybe that is for good reason.

What I see in the final moments of this commercial is a dad modestly bragging (yikes!) to his daughter that without his help, his daughter's laggard boyfriend would have never proposed! Having watched the tv sit come Everybody Loves Raymond, all I can see is Raymond and Robert cringing every time their parents meddle in their lives the way dad appears to have done in this Folgers commercial.
The entire Folgers commercial seems impinged on the final line of dialogue, and yet, what does it say about the daughter if dad has to step in and FORCE the marriage issue with her boyfriend? The commercial script, obviously influenced by a male fatherly figure, is trying to say "Hey, ain't I great the way I rescued my little girl one more time, and got her married!"
This particular Folgers commercial could have taken the high road, and the funny road,if it had just used a slightly different ending. If dad had instead said, "I offered Biff two new cars and his own condo to get lost, but he said he would just sell the cars to buy you a bigger engagement ring", the commercial's message becomes that both men in her life want her to stay solidly in their lives. Now that would have been a sweet message.
This would have been a far more powerful father daughter moment than dad saying "I had a secret meeting with Biff last weekend to make sure he proposed to you".


Edit Update Dec.8, 2010: Folgers held a contest to come up with a new musical intro for their commercials. The irony is, that's not the problem with their commercials.

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Rick White said...

Very astute points in the first portion of your article. Calling this commercial sexist is ludicrous. These living situations happen all the time, and like you said, the dad knew the whole time. He was just setting her up.

I do believe you missed the point of the last line, however. When the dad says he had a talk with the boyfriend, it's not to insinuate that he commanded the boy to propose at all. It's implying that the boy came to him to get his blessing to marry his daughter. This does, actually stem from chauvinistic society, where the man asks for a daughter's hand in marriage, but we've evolved past that to merely being respectful. Actually, in today's society, generally the boy comes to BOTH parents to ask for their blessing. My sister's current husband came to our dad a week before proposing to her to get his blessing. He'd have spoken to our mother at the same time if she were still alive. It's considered honorable and respectful. I, too, plan on speaking with my girlfriend's parents before proposing to her.

In hindsight this commercial implies that the mother isn't even around, lol.

Alessandro Machi said...

Hi Rick, I will definitely agree that it is not 100% obvious that the dad had a talk with the boyfriend and gave him a commit or retreat speech, but it feels like it, to me.

Unfortunately, the commercial is no longer available from the site that I linked to. I seem to recall the dad says, He had a talk with the boyfriend, and not that the boyfriend had a talk with him. But I will try and find a new video source so I can watch it one more time.

Folgers is getting a lot of mileage out of this commercial as I just saw it the other day.

Alessandro Machi said...

I cannot seem to find this particular Folgers commercial anywhere on the internet, that tends to make me believe that you are a nice person who is giving Folgers the benefit of the doubt.