…and Your Dad Wasn’t Your Mom’s Last


It all started when Energy BBDO created the “Damn Right” ad campaign below for Canadian Club Whiskey. The ads featured vintage photographs from the 60s and 70s, with the running slogan “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It.” The headlines were “Your dad was not a metrosexual,” “Your dad had a van for a reason,” “Your mom wasn’t your dad’s first,” and “Your dad never tweezed anything.” The press release for this campaign proclaimed that “the thought-provoking campaign challenges consumers to embrace their dads [sic] classic masculinity, most visibly expressed through their choice to drink Canadian Club whisky cocktails.” Some choice copy:

Your Dad Was Not a Metrosexual. He didn’t do pilates. Moisturize. Or drink pink cocktails. Your dad drank whiskey cocktails. Made with Canadian Club. Served in a rocks glass. They tasted good. They were effortless. DAMN RIGHT YOUR DAD DRANK IT.


But the people weren’t havin’ it. The first thing that was pointed out on many blogs when this campaign launched is how “Your dad wasn’t your mom’s first” wouldn’t have quite the same ring to it. Graffiti appeared on the Van poster: “and that’s why your mom left him.” And the parodies of the nostalgic views of masculinity poured in… “Your dad didn’t use condoms when he was in Saigon.” “Your Dad smoked while pumping gas.” “Dad didn’t call it ‘Date Rape,’ it was just a ‘Date’.”

But the best was when blogger Michelle Schwartz created this template, which let people really go to town, resulting in the ads below and in many more here. The revised taglines proclaimed, “Damn right your mom drank it! And it sure as hell wasn’t Canadian Club.”


I love the fact that the web lets us respond to advertising so actively and directly. It was definitely amusing and somewhat therapeutic to see these responses emerge. Paradoxically, they probably made this campaign more successful in terms of branding/awareness than ever projected. So victory is bittersweet – unlike the drink, which will forever taste rotten to me.

via SocImages

10 Responses to “…and Your Dad Wasn’t Your Mom’s Last”

  1. David Forbes Says:

    Damn. Now that just made my night. Thank you, Nadya.

  2. HMSlatex Says:

    Haha, fabo, great post!

  3. aziza x Says:

    That’s great. (laughs)

  4. Camilla Says:

    It sort of weirds me out that they’re pushing whiskey based cocktails as somehow masculine. It’s still a cocktail. Since when was Coke and whiskey manly?

  5. Ben Morris Says:

    If you want a real whiskey based cocktail (and arguably the oldest cocktail) you need to try a sazerac. The best sazeracs are to be had in New Orleans but if that is not a reasonable option I recommend making them yourself.

  6. David Forbes Says:

    Ben: sazeracs are indeed extremely tasty, self-made or otherwise.

    Whiskey cobblers are also a good, classic option, especially on a budget. It’s amazing how far a bottle of Jack and some fresh fruit will go on a hot summer’s day.

  7. lucylle Says:

    Excellent story… that ad pissed me off to no end the moment I saw it but I didn’t know it was so widespread.
    Also the “Your mom was your dad” should be printed and real, as far as inspirational posters it’s spot on.

  8. Brad... Says:

    Now which one of you ladies wants to make me a sandwich?

    I think this ad has its tongue planted firmly in cheek. I can’t imagine anybody really taking it seriously, except maybe a small minority of the target demographic. Nothing to get pissy about. I do know that my dad never drank Canadian Club.

  9. JT Says:

    If coilhouse has any kind of tracking download, then they’ll see that I actually came here off of a google search for the ads.

    As a bartender, I love something that gets back to basics, embracing the simple cocktail. Whether it’s Canadian Club or Crown Royal or a Campari or a Grand Marnier after dinner, I love it that liquor is finally liquor again. A cocktail should be enjoyed, not “bombed” or “tini.”

    To those that take offense to the ads, I’m sorry my dad didn’t beat my mom or get divorced or lose his job. My dad enjoyed a cocktail the way it should be enjoyed as an adult: responsibly. You as a viewer should see the ad and not feel rage, but take it in the way it affects you. If you’re offended, talk to your mom or dad.

  10. Nadya Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Agency Guy.