Dad-vertising: The Power of Digital Dads

Dads have always played an integral role in their kids’ lives, but until just recently, it didn’t seem like marketers and advertisers were aware of that role or of the buying power that Dads have as it relates to household decisions.

Recent census figures show that Dads are spending more time at home with the kids and in 1/3 of U.S. homes, Dads are the primary caregiver. During the recent recession three men out of every woman lost their jobs, spurring some men to take on the role of stay-at-home dad. While women still currently make more of the purchasing decisions when it comes to household products, stay-at-home dads now take a close second.

Overall, fathers are participating more in childcare and household chores. According to a recent survey more than half of men between the ages of 18 to 64 said that they identify themselves as the primary shopper in their household; however, only 22% to 24% feel that the packaged goods were actually being marketed to them specially – a key insight and opportunity for marketers!

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Dads are also a growing force in terms of the social media and blogging world. A similar phenomena as mommy blogs and blogger networks were a few years ago, dads have begun to create and share family-related content online.

A recent study from Edelman and the Parenting group looks at what dads are doing on social networks. The most popular activity seems to be posting family-related status updates, which 27% of online dads do daily. They’re also sharing visual content fairly regularly, with nearly 44% posting family-related photos at least weekly, and 25% post family-related videos at least weekly.

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Additionally, the Dad 2.0 Summit provides the forum for an open conversation about the commercial power of digital dads. The Summit gives dad bloggers an unprecedented opportunity to meaningfully connect with world-class brands and provides dad bloggers with the opportunity to learn tools and tactics used by influential bloggers to create high-quality content, build personal brands, and develop business ideas.

What does this mean?

If brands want to connect with dads, they need to move beyond the beer-drinking, grill master stereotype. Much like women, men want to be valued for their role as caregivers and role models. They want brands to respect them as such.

Recent ads from Tide, Dove Men + Care, and a few car brands are starting to turn the tides when it comes to dad-vertizing, but there is still big opportunity here. By integrating tactics targeting this group into a   communications and marketing mix could help brands break through the clutter, differentiate themselves and help to get noticed by a growing target market—a group that we celebrate this weekend—Dads!

Happy Father’s Day!

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To my dad… and so many others!