Stun Creative captures the authentic modern dad for Dove
The dads on our DVRs are characters of legends. The terrifying legends we tell around the campfires, not the heartwarming tales of a wedding day toast. Don Draper and Walter White and Tywin Lannister are not in the running to win World’s Greatest Dad. But in 2014 these men are the exceptions and not the rules, as Stun Creative and Dove want to set straight. The role of the distant American father was recast decades ago, but it’s time that the media caught up. And Dove wanted to do something about it.
For Father’s Day 2014, Dove Men+Care teamed up with Davie Brown Entertainment to create a piece about the modern dad. They tapped Stun Creative to execute it.
In the 60-second spot we hear “Daddy” called out by toddlers to twenty-somethings looking to be saved, looking for support, looking for confidence. This is the unscripted parenting in quiet nighttime moments, in a tickle, in between fed bites. The moments that get overlooked, the job well done that goes unnoticed. The campaign works to highlight those moments that mean so much now, but used to be completely written out.
These moments weren’t possible a few generations ago, which is at the heart of this spot. “We were trying to show dads in very authentic and real settings,” Mark Feldstein, of Stun Creative, explained. “The modern father’s role has clearly changed and Dads are now engaged where they previously weren’t, they embrace their role in trying to foster and nurture their kids. We were thrilled to capture that on film.”
Dove Men+Care and Davie Brown Entertainment cooked up the campaign, but it was Stun Creative who was tasked with bringing that authenticity to the screen. They did it the hard way: they used real fathers and their real children. And none of these fathers or kids had acted before. “It literally unfolded the way it unfolded,” Brad Roth, also at Stun, explains.
It’s an old entertainment trope: Never work with kids or animals. They’ll steal focus, and everything is completely unpredictable. So, Stun stacked the deck in their favor shooting far more than they ended up using. In that one-minute spot we see dozens of children with their fathers, in authentic situations. But, on the day it was impossible to know what would work and what wouldn’t. Mark says, “[The final spot] was a small percentage of what we actually shot. Because we were shooting with real kids and not actors: we didn’t know what we were going to get!”
All those moments boiled down to one piece that’s so striking it even attracted the attention of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who took time out of a Cannes panel to bring attention to it. This wasn’t a marketing gimmick by Dove, Davie Brown, or Stun Creative. Sandberg was one of the nearly 12m viewers authentically moved by the work. That’s one powerful “Like.”