Overprotective dad alert! Even though Kevin Hart's daughter isn’t in the Hyundai Super Bowl ad with her dad, Heaven Hart probably won’t be too eager to bring her future dates home after watching it. According to Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Hart had a chance to thoroughly practice his fatherly intimidation skills in the ad promoting the 2016 Hyundai Genesis, where Hart is seen using the car’s Car Finder feature to keep track of his teenaged daughter and her date throughout the niight (thoroughly creeping out the guy who took her out!). Given how comfortable he seemed as a paranoid parent of a teenaged girl, it seemed like the commercial might be imitating his own life as a dad. But given that his real-life daughter, Heaven, is only 10 years old, he still has a little while longer before he has to put his Car Finder to good use.
In the ad, Kevin Hart offers his Hyundai to his on-screen daughter’s date to drive, which naturally makes him seem super cool. But little did he realize that Hart would be covertly popping up throughout the night — at the movie theater, at the fair, and, uh, hanging from a helicopter — to thwart any potential for romance or sneaky teenage make-out sessions.
The commercial is pretty funny — I mean, when is Kevin Hart not funny? — but honestly, it would be kind of nice if advertisers would put the “overbearing dad of a teenaged daughter” trope to rest already. Even though progress has been made when it comes to talking about respect and consent and responsible sexual choices, the idea of the overprotective dad with a shotgun to keep the boys away (to keep their daughters "pure") still won’t seem to die. And it starts right away: overprotective dad jokes can even be found on baby clothes for girls, according to Mommyish (creepy, right?).
As icky as the preoccupation about little girls’ purity is (not to mention insulting and sexist), the “teenaged boys are hormonal animals” stereotype is also totally overplayed, and frankly, just as screwed up. It’s why we still have to teach girls’ rape prevention strategies instead of, you know, teaching boys not to be rapists. And it’s also why girls continue to get lectured about modesty, and why some women have given up wearing leggings and yoga pants, lest they entice other men’s wandering eyes (how dare they do such a thing!).
Obviously Kevin Hart’s Hyundai commercial is meant to be all in good fun, but given that the Super Bowl is such an incredibly coveted ad spot, with companies paying as much as $5 million for a 30-second spot, according to Fortune, you know that the people working on these ads have to be pretty good at what they do. So maybe, just maybe, it’s time they got a little more creative and dropped the tropes.