Are you a Pinner?

Pinterest is the newest social media craze sweeping the nation, with more than 11.7 million (and counting!) users since February creating pinboards to share images, videos and other objects of inspiration. As of today, even Barack Obama has an active account on the site, which he uses to share a family chili recipe, fan-created “ObamArt” and photos from political rallies.

According to Ignite research, the majority of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25 and 34 with an annual household income of $25,000 to $75,000. However, Pinners aren’t just people. Businesses such as Nordstrom, Whole Foods and ModCloth have been flocking to the website in hopes of capturing the attention of this growing base of users.

If you are a company, Pinterest is especially attractive because the site helps to build word-of-mouth recommendations between users, which are the biggest drive of consumer purchases, said Geoffrey Colon, a vice president focusing on digital strategies at advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather.

“This means that there is an endless opportunity for your brand and its products to be seen by Pinterest’s 11.7 million unique monthly users as endorsements from friends in the form of repins,” he said at a recent Ogilvy presentation.

However, before you too decide to jump on the bandwagon and start pining for those Pinners, first a word of advice.  Pinterest works best for highlighting visual content, so you must be able to showcase your brand and share your story through images. This works easily for restaurants, magazines, interior design studios and apparel companies. A picture of vintage décor or a hand-crafted cupcake will go a lot farther and garner more Pins than a word-heaving statement like a press release.  Also a word of warning: post original content, or at least be wary when re-pining. Pinterest has recently tightened its copyright rules to protect itself against lawsuits, but that doesn’t extend to its users, so attribution for anything on your Pinboard is an absolute MUST.

Do you use Pinterest? If so, what do you post on your pinboard? Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.

A call to marketers: do not discredit the new dad

Recent findings have revealed that marketers should not be so quick to disregard dads as a target audience when it comes to advertising. New data from a study conducted by The Parenting Group and Edelman reveals that dads believe they are playing a bigger role than ever before helping out with household activities.  When asked how often they are responsible for various tasks like grocery shopping, diaper changing and disciplining children, dads said the responsibilities were evenly split. What’s more, a staggering 82 percent of men whose oldest child is less than 2 years old believe an anti-dad societal bias exists. So not only do dads feel that they are equally contributing to the household, but also that they are being denigrated by society for it.

So what gives? Well, this concept is definitely not new to us. We can see why dads feel ignored when it comes to acknowledging their presence in the household. How often do you see commercials with men using Swiffers? Or doing the laundry? Even television sitcoms have helped to perpetuate negative portrayals of fatherly figures. Just look at Ray in “Everybody Loves Raymond,” or Hal on “Malcolm in the Middle,” or better yet everybody’s favorite animated father, Homer Simpson. Time and time again, these dads have been stereotyped as dopey, inept father figures.

Huggies

The best way to fight this stale archetype is for marketers to embrace the new role of dads in society, as highlighted by research from The Parenting Group. Advertisers need to stop marketing solely to women and flippantly ignoring the growing population of males making household purchases. Just ask Huggies, who recently pulled a video from its Facebook after sparking outrage from disgruntled dads. The video poked fun at fathers by evaluating the strength of a diaper after a baby’s been alone with a dad for five days. It wasn’t long before a backlash of negative comments erupted and Huggies issued a formal apology on their Facebook recognizing that “a fact of real life is that dads care for their kids just as much as moms do” and should have an opinion on product performance too.

Well, at least someone gets it now.