It’s hard for any girl dad to imagine a time when his daughter will stop wanting to spend time with him. But seemingly overnight, she can go from a devoted daddy’s girl to a prickly, detached teen who is much more interested in what’s happening on her phone than hanging out with her old man. Suddenly it can feel like there is no common ground between them, and shared interests are few and far between.
But this NFL season has been different for football-loving dads and their Swiftie daughters.
A heartwarming commercial from Cetaphil with the tagline, “A New Sports Tradition for Dads & Daughters” highlights how billionaire pop star Taylor Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce has strengthened the bond between dads and daughters.
Although the commercial never directly mentions the singer, the clues are plentiful and obvious. And the biggest takeaway? Because of her, tween and teen girls are suddenly interested in watching football—a dream come true for a dad who is craving connection.
The commercial features a real father/daughter pair living in New York and paints a familiar picture for many families—in the opening scene, a teenage girl walks down the stairs, eyes glued to her phone and not even looking up as she passes her dad on the couch, presumably watching a football game. He sighs as she walks by, visibly dejected that she doesn’t appear to even notice him. Later, he tries to engage her in the kitchen and again, she rebuffs him, heading to the solace of her bedroom where she focuses on her skin regimen in front of the mirror. The disappointment on his face is heartbreaking.
Suddenly, the daughter visibly perks up as the voice of a sports commentator floats upstairs—“Well folks, there she is. It’s the most famous fan of the game!” (Another clear reference to Swift.) The teen curiously pokes her head into the living room where her dad is watching the game. She smiles at the TV, and her dad, taking note, smiles at her. At this point, we’re already getting emotional watching his face light up simply because HERS lights up. It is so obvious how much he loves her and just wants to find some common ground with her.
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She is back upstairs in her room when her dad enters with a red “13” jersey for her—a clear nod to Taylor Swift’s lucky number. He gestures enthusiastically for her to join him and then jokingly dabs his cheeks with her Cetaphil moisturizer as if he were applying eye black for a football game. Although she initially seems dismissive, as soon as he leaves, she tries on the jersey and the biggest smile erupts on her face. The final scene is of her walking to the living room, notably placing her phone screen side down on the table, and joining her dad on the couch for the big game.
Our hearts melted as we watched how genuinely thrilled he was to be getting this time with his teen. And the most “Aww” moment ever? The camera zooms in on his wrist, where he is now wearing matching friendship bracelets with his daughter (another big nod to the pop star). They laugh, snuggle, and enthusiastically watch the game.
Finally, a message pops up on the screen: “This season, dads and daughters found a new way to connect,” and then, “Let’s celebrate that.”
Cue the sentimental tears.
While a number of die-hard football fans have voiced their skepticism and annoyance in the last few months over coverage of Swift at the NFL games, many others have spoken up about how appreciative they are of this newfound shared interest with their Swifties at home.
In response to a video honoring the retirement of Eagles player Jason Kelce (Travis Kelce’s brother), one dad posted on X, “I actually feel bad for the Brads, Chads and Angry Dads who spent the year complaining about Taylor Swift interrupting their football because I spent the season trading Swift/Kelce memes with my 14-year-old daughter (who previously didn’t care about football) and now it’s like a fun thing we share? Which is freaking awesome? (Also she loves that I met Jason once.)”
I actually feel bad for the Brads, Chads and Angry Dads who spent the year complaining about Taylor Swift interrupting their football because I spent the season trading Swift/Kelce memes with my 14-year-old daughter (who previously didn't care about football) and now it's like a… https://t.co/re4UHwvKE2
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) January 17, 2024
Another dad on TikTok shared a video of his daughter with an initially provocative caption of “Look what Taylor Swift has done to this kid,” which proceeds to show her effortlessly (and correctly!) answering a volley of football-related questions like, “What’s shotgun formation?” and “Generally, where does the tight end line up?”
This swiftie appears to be turning into a football fan, after years of trying, all it took was Taylor Swift going to games, thanks Taylor! #swiftie #taylorswift #traviskelce #kansascity #chiefs #football #patrickmahomes
At the end of the day, you don’t have to like Taylor Swift or her music to recognize the positive impact she has had on many father-daughter relationships this season.
And that’s something we can all cheer for.