There’s not many parenting handbooks that advise to go and buy a box of tissues with your first box of nappies. Not for wiping away the tears when bub won’t sleep, but in preparation for the raft of heartstring-pulling commercials you’ll watch that are bound to make you sob.
Ads that involve babies or children – that instantly make you reflect on your own family life – will make you cry. No doubt about it.
So when a dad and daughter surprise mum with a routine at a dance recital, the tears well up. The apparently unscripted advertisement for Quaker Canada really gets you the moment mum realises that dad has not missed his daughter’s performance after all. He’s up there with her.
Michael and his 10-year-old daughter Lauren were asked separately “what if you were given the chance to do something you’ve always wanted to do… but you had to start today?”
Both said that they would like to spend more time with each other.
“We’re just going to blink our eyes and they are all going to be in university or getting married or being away and that will be it,” Michael says. “She’s just 10 now but it feels like she’s going to be 16 tomorrow.”
A plan to surprise mum by appearing together on stage begins, involving secret dance rehearsals and culminating in a tear-jerking routine when Michael runs on stage to join his daughter for some hip-hop moves. Take a look:
The Canadian family appear in the unscripted ad that does a great job of encouraging viewers to reassess their priorities. Quaker’s The Recital video has been watched more than 5.7 million times.
Michael, a father of three, says “as a parent, you find yourself doing crazy things for your kids. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. They won’t be kids forever, which makes today that much more important.”
The ad is one of many tear-jerkers aimed at striking an emotional chord with parents, but it’s the ones done well that will stay in the memory bank.