Dear Huggies, Stop Marketing to Dad As If He's Dumb. Thanks!
Huggies recently took some heat for a commercial they put out portraying dear old dad as, well, dumb. The Huggies commercial features a man watching sports on TV while igorning his diapering duty.
Huggies attempt to be funny backfired - and rightfully so. According to recent U.S. census figures, one in three dads serve as the primary caregivers. Plus, 158,000 men are "stay at home" dads too. Dads are not ignorant of their child's needs; it's quite the opposite.
In fact, today's generation of patriarchs are no dummies; rather they are full-on partners, equaling sharing in breadwinning and raising the family.
According to a New York Times article, “Fathers More Active and More Absent”, (Lisa Belkin, June 17, 2011), 68% of dads say they would rather earn less money in exchange for more time with their kids. It also says that Dad says he is much more involved in his children's lives than ever before (46%) and that he often clashes with his employer when it comes to maintaining a work/life balance (68%).
Given Dad's apparent role in today's modern families, few advertisers "get it."
Today's marketing should be about respecting all caregivers' roles in the family. It should portray the importance of dads and moms and even grandparents (who are typically active and vibrant Boomers totally immersed in raising their grandchildren).
If a marketer wants to resonate with today's generations of parents, it must portray dad as an active, sensitive and critical component to child raising - just as they would portray a mom.
One company that gets "it" is Google. This Google Chrome commercial portrays a dad emailing his daughter as she grows up before his eyes. What do you think - a homerun with dads or what!?! Beware, bring the tissues.