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.


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.