Though there's still work to be done, advertising has improved significantly in depicting parenthood in a way that more closely resembles reality. As a proven creative leader, Avital Pinchevsky of David&Goliath weighs in on their inclusive approach to supporting parents not only through their work, but their employees as well.
How has the depiction of parenthood in advertising evolved?
Advertising has finally caught up with reality. We’re seeing diverse family structures, like single parents rocking it, same-sex couples thriving, and blended families blending it in style. It’s about time. Dads are no longer hands off, they’re all about sharing the load and showing their nurturing side. Meanwhile, moms have broken free from the “perfect, smiling caregiver” mold and flaunting multi-dimensional characters. These changes in advertising are genuine and represent a significant improvement. But there’s still work to be done.
How are agencies and brands adapting ad comms to inclusivity around parenting?
Agencies and brands have realized the importance of hiring parents, especially moms. These powerhouses hold incredible sway in the purchasing realm, so it’s only natural that we want to connect with them authentically. We’re putting extra thought into our choices, carefully handpicking stories that truly resonate. The old-fashioned separation between "mom roles" and "dad roles" is fading away, and we're delving into once-taboo subjects like divorce, fairness in households, breastfeeding, and maternal mental health. We're saying goodbye to the pursuit of perfection and embracing an open, honest approach when talking to parents and depicting the rollercoaster of parenting in our ads.
In what ways does your role as a parent inform your work?
I must say, I am truly fortunate to be part of David&Goliath, an agency that holds parents in such high regard. They not only prioritize hiring, promotion, and support of parents but also create work that’s purposeful, culturally sensitive, and accurate. For example, David&Goliath created the much-beloved Kia Super Bowl campaign “Binky Dad,” which celebrated the things we go through as parents and showed a dad literally going to the ends of the earth to retrieve his baby’s missing pacifier.
My luck doesn’t stop at my professional life. In my personal life, I have the privilege of being married to a partner who is not only engaged but also incredibly supportive. Together, we’re raising two intricate individuals who keep us on our toes. However, my identity extends well beyond the roles of mother and wife. I bring this multifaceted nature into my work. That being said, the experience of being a mother has taught me invaluable empathy that allows me to tell stories with heart. Plus, it has empowered me to take down the idea of a perfect supermom.
What are some areas regarding parenthood that you feel could use more visibility in advertising?
In the early days of my career, there was an underlying expectation that female creatives couldn’t pursue both motherhood and a successful career. We’ve thankfully moved past that but now, there’s a concerning trend of glorifying the idea of “women doing it all,” which only reinforces stereotypes and unrealistic expectations for moms who are already spread thin. It’s crucial to create an environment where it’s acceptable for parents to not have it all figured out. Let’s also acknowledge the fact that kids can be both incredible and challenging, and the reality is that we often lack the support we need. We’re living in a time where extended families are frequently scattered across different locations and the concept of a supportive community feels distant.
Legal guardians can play a significant role in the lives of children who are no longer with their birth parents. How can brands balance the importance placed on these other parental figures in their messaging?
As storytellers, we have the power to share inclusive and authentic stories that shine a light on the vital roles parental figures play in children’s lives. These stories could include super-uncles and super-aunts, grandparents stepping up as primary caregivers, foster and adoptive parents, as well as influential role models and mentors. These stories are all around us, just waiting to be discovered and shared. By telling them, we can create more inclusive and captivating work that celebrates diverse family dynamics.