Thursday, 28 February 2013

The hapless, bumbling father

Here's an interesting article about fathers and advertising, which begins:

THE hapless, bumbling father is a stock character in product marketing. He makes breakfast for dinner and is incapable of handling, or sometimes even noticing, a soggy diaper. He tries desperately to hide the crumb-strewn, dirt-streaked evidence of his poor parenting before the mother gets home.  

As I've said, Dads in advertising annoy me so much that I've proposed the Sutton rule. Not only are Dads in ads usually hapless and bumbling, ads aimed at Dads seem to be so emotionally manipulative. Current hates include the 'take your teenage daughter to Disneyland before she stops talking to you forever' ad, and the 'if you're trying to make a connection with your stepson and all else fails, there's always junk food' McDonalds ad (if anything, stepdads fare worse in ads than biological fathers). 

Apparently advertisers are getting more interested in the 'Dad pound':

In the past, consumer-product marketers weren’t all that concerned with what fathers thought — women, after all, make the majority of purchasing decisions for households. But men are catching up: In 2012 men spent an average of $36.26 at the grocery store per trip, compared with $27.49 in 2004, according to data from Nielsen. Companies see an opportunity to reach a new demographic. 

Advertisers are reaching out for the 'Dad pound'

The article has some great examples of campaigns which have ignored or belittled fathers. But what really struck me about the piece was the hook of 'Dad 2.0 Summit – a meeting of so-called daddy bloggers and the marketers who want to reach them'. I'm just dipping my toes into the blogosphere, and it's becoming clear there's already a community of daddy bloggers (although many more US-based than UK). 

THE 200 or so bloggers and media professionals who attended the second annual Dad 2.0 conference in Houston from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 were mainly in their 30s and 40s. They tended to wear well-fitting jeans, button-down shirts and blazers, and they were quick to whip out pictures of their children on their iPhones. 

That's me! I do that!

If you read on, you see that the event offered:

1) free whiskey
2) sword-fighting lessons
3) test drives of minivans
4) free cheese
5) cheerleaders


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