Are Dad's Seen As They Are or As They Are Perceived?
Last year, the diaper brand Huggies challenged the capabilities of dad's in handling the needs of their babies when they ran a TV ad campaign called the “Dad test”. In this commercial, five Moms left their babies with their husbands for five days. Huggies called this ‘The Ultimate Test’ and they showed these Dads in various states of confusion while their wives were out having some well-deserved girl time.
After the ad hit the airwaves, hundreds of stay-at-home Dads went on social media to express their disappointment in the ad and to share the many ways they not only take care of their newborns, but their entire family as well. After the Twitter/Facebook onslaught and additional online petitions, Huggies pulled the ad.
There are many marketing questions to ask from this PR debacle. But could it be that Huggies was actually using this campaign to target Dad's and their decision making role when it comes to buying power in the household?
A look at the most recent census and additional data shows that Dad's have evolved over the decades. The Dad of the 50's came home from a long day at work, and accepted a drink from his wife while he sat in his chair. She took care of the rest. The cooking, the cleaning and the household decision making. In this century, many things have changed - most importantly the role Dad plays in the decision making and purchasing. Dads are spending more time at home with the kids and in 1/3 of the homes in this country, Dads are the primary caregiver. Whether this was a result of job loss from the economy or the sociological shifts which are occurring, it’s pretty clear that Dads are a new target audience for childcare products, and any additional company that is marketing their products for the house and household.
However, many marketing agencies and companies still subscribe to a number of Dad myths:.
· Dads don’t shop - Research shows that men are not only taking care of the kids but doing other ‘housewife duties’ including the weekly shopping, managing the budget and taking care of the house.
· Dads don’t do brand research - Many agencies still believe that ‘if it's not about cars, sports or games, men don’t really care.’ Today’s fathers use of online research for household and childcare related products are higher than men in a previous generation. The research suggests having kids affects how both parents make purchases, not just Moms.
· Dads are just the babysitter for the day - Most consumer brands continue to target Moms and show Dads as a bumbling follower in the house. Research, and common sense, confirms that this is just not true. (Inner Socialmedia-ness Februay 20, 2013)
So how does this information help you as the business owner? If you want to grow your business and your revenues, you need to market to Dad. You need to reach him where he is, both at home with the kids and also out enjoying sports and the recreation activities that they enjoy. You need to have the conversation with them and let them know that they have a very important voice. You want them to have access to as much information about your product and the easy ability to find it and purchase it.
And you know what? 1010XL knows how to speak to Dad. In Jacksonville, we are the radio station that Dad is listening to. We have the personalities that Dad has a relationship with and can be an influential part of his household decision making.
Want to learn more about how to reach Dad? Send me an email and I can share with you some great examples and show how you can start conversing with Dad's.