Hilarious New Video Aims to End the Mommy Wars–Oh, and Also Sell You Formula

by Ada Guzman

There are so many different kinds of moms, and so many different ways they raise their kids. Bottle versus breastfeeding, natural birth versus drug-assisted, part-time versus stay-at-home – these are just a handful of the ways moms do it in the baby-raising world.

It’s easy to get militant about one camp, pitting yourself against a friend, coworker, relative, or stranger who might do it differently – and it’s equally as easy to distance yourself from anyone who says nay to your way of childrearing. But this Similac ad zeroes in on the one thing that all moms have in common: a fierceness about protecting their kids.

Similac certainly gets points for its inclusivity and diversity in the vid, portraying working mothers, mothers of different colors, lesbian mothers, even stay-at-home-dads. But there’s a questionable undercurrent to this funny and moving ad. When it comes to raising our kids, we do have a common purpose: the wellbeing of our kids and the affordability of childcare that makes that wellbeing possible. It’s all about the community – the sisterhood, so to speak. But while the immediate message from the ad is all about community and kindness, there seems to be a more sinister push from the company. Is it really trying to end the mommy wars? Maybe. But from a company that primarily sells baby formula, it’s hard to negate that this is a campaign to gain profit by pushing the use of formula. And formula is, historically, not the good guy.

Not too long ago, in fact, Nestlé made promotional material encouraging their baby formula and started to send free samples – where it wasn’t needed. Reliance on baby formula in third-world countries meant that mothers, in need of enough to feed their children, would dilute it with too much water, leading to fatal consequences. A 1981 New York Times article blamed formula reliance on the death of 1 million infants each year. Finally, a code was created to regulate the promotion of baby formula, and the crisis came to a halt.

So we have to wonder, what is the angle that Similac is really taking with this video? It’s a cute vid. Really. But like every ad we come across, we should keep all of its implications in mind. 


Image via ScaryMommy

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