Many of this year's Father's Day messages have tugged at our heartstrings, but The Ad Council and organization Futures Without Violence have teamed up for a more sobering message for Dads.
A TV spot, created by RSA Films, starts out like a typical Father's Day ad, with a voiceover (by Forest Whittaker) reflecting on what Dads teach their sons; to hit baseballs, goals, and other sporting achievements. It goes on to ask "But how much time did you spend on teaching him what not to hit?"
The wider campaign includes radio, digital and outdoor PSAs directing audiences to TeachEarly.org where men can find tools and resources to help engage boys in a discussion about relationships, respecting women, and preventing violence. The website also features a "digital quilt" that celebrates teachable moments between fathers and other male mentors, and the boys in their lives, crowdsourcing photos from the public with the campaign's hashtag: #TeachEarly.
The campaign launch coincides with the release of the Ad Council Domestic Violence Prevention Continuous Tracking Study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Of the men surveyed, 89 percent agreed that it's important for men to talk to boys about violence against women and girls, while only 37 percent reported speaking to a boy they know about violence against women in the past six months.