Ford has come out with a new father-positive car commercial for its 2008 Taurus. The ad, called “We Know,” depicts a father looking out for his little son as he rides his bicycle, and then draws an analogy between the way the father knows how to keep his son safe and the way Ford says its automobile engineers know how to keep people safe.

The ad depicts the father as being what the vast majority of fathers (and mothers) are–caring, loving parents. To watch, click here.

Last year there was considerable controversy in the fatherhood movement over Ford’s  controversial “Bold Moves” divorced dad ad for the Ford Freestyle. The ad can be viewed here. Some saw the ad as degrading or insulting to divorced dads, and I received numerous letters urging me to launch a protest campaign against the ad, as we’ve done in the past.

Others saw the commercial as a positive for divorced dads. I discussed the ad’s pros and cons in my E-newsletter here. As I’ve noted, while I understand people’s negative reaction to the commercial, as a whole I see it as a positive development. In my co-authored column Dads finally get fair shake in the media (Chicago Sun-Times, 12/24/06), I explained:

“[The ad] was another step forward for fathers. The ad begins with a stereotypically happy family taking a trip to the beach in a Ford Freestyle SUV. At the end of the commercial comes an unexpected twist–the car pulls into a housing complex, and dad gets out. He hugs his kids, tells them he’ll see them next week, tells his ex-wife, ‘Thanks for inviting me this weekend,’ and waves goodbye.

“The ad does more than give heretofore invisible divorced dads some needed visibility; it also provides an important image of a divorced couple working to preserve their children’s relationships with both parents. Dad remains involved, and his ex, instead of putting forth her new husband as the children’s ‘new dad,’ invites him along.”

Thanks to Justin, a reader, for sending me the new Ford commercial., Glenn Sacks

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