AD/JUDICATED: Brawny Absorbs Mom Tears, Too



Real-life moments. Shot GoPro style. Kid’s perspective. Messes everywhere.

If you would have described this ad to me, I would have been dismissive, thinking I’d seen it before. But hats off to Brawny for this beautiful, new interpretation and execution of such well-trod territory. All those tiny moments — the sweet, the frenetic, the messy, the calm — they all seemed so real, and made me long for the days of high chairs and solving big problems with a superhero Band-Aid.

Of course, we all want to be giants in our kids’ eyes. Strong. Responsible. Larger than life. Even now, as my 11-year-old is borrowing my shoes and wisely talking me down when I get into stress-cleaning mode, I still want her to see me as her protector. Arms wide open to hold back the messy, hard, tearful things in the world, ready to embrace her when they find their way through.

Yes, this one ad for paper towels — one of the most mundane, overused, underappreciated items in our house — made me feel all these things. So nicely done, Brawny. Even the peephole framing that ties back to the circle on the logo was a nice touch, making the spot that much more ownable. 

My one critique? It lost a little magic in the last, staged shot where the Brawny Mom (obviously replacing the age-old “Brawny Man”) is standing in her iconic red and black button-up waiting for her son to run in. Unlike all the rest of the truly authentic moments, I felt like I was waiting to hear the director shout “Action!” But that’s a little thing. Overall, this ad was beautifully done, beautifully captured and it tapped into the feelings of the awesome responsibility and power that motherhood holds, as well as those tiny little moments that are here and gone like a spilled juice box.

Hold on. There’s something in my eye. I bet a Brawny paper towel would totally dry it up.