Who The Flip is Dad 2.0?
A Message To Brands Who Want To Make Dad 2.0 Their New BFF.
Fatherhood is a scary thing. Combine that with the onslaught of an average mid-life crisis, then life as Dad 2.0 is a pretty daunting task.
We’re a generation raised by Dad 1.0. Our role models were hard-grafting providers who did little of the actual day-to-day hands-on childcare. They splashed on the Brut, dished out the discipline and ruled over the remote control of a three-channel world with a rod of iron.
Times Have Changed
Nowadays, as Dad 2.0, we’re not only expected to, but are proud to do more than our fair share of bum and tear-wiping because being a dad is quite possibly the best job in the world. We’re the Grange Hill generation that came of age while raving and Britpoppin’ in the 90s. Think about when New Lad became New Dad, and you will be halfway there.
As responsible child-rearing grown-ups with careers and mortgages, we expect more out of family life and we want to look good and have fun while we are doing it.
Dads in Marketing
Unfortunately, the marketing world has yet to catch up with the reality of modern parenting. In advertising, dad is still the hapless sap who simply can’t get anything right.
He burns any foodstuff that he places within a metre radius of the oven. The washing machine console is his confusing nemesis. He returns from the supermarket with 15 pomegranates and a party pack of Twiglets when he was supposed to hunter-gather the Christmas dinner.
That is, of course, when he is not encamped on his sofa, lounging in a cloud of his flatulence and barking orders at his put-upon spouse.
The Brands That Don’t Get Dad 2.0
Some brands get marketing to dads so wrong.
When major food companies like Heinz release a line of baby foods with slogans emblazoned on the side declaring the product is “inspired by a recipe from Sophie, a mum just like you”,they instantly dismiss the possibility that dads can take an active part in feeding their children.
The concept of women being the decision makers, the shoppers, the child carers may once have held water, but the tide is turning, and marketing types need to realise that. If we feel you don’t take us seriously, we will not take you seriously. Consumers always have a choice and will leave behind brands that do not respect the input of dads.
Amazon had to perform a volte-face in the US when, for some unknown reason, it decided to brand the discount scheme called Amazon Family around the world as Amazon Mom in its home market. Kansas-based stay-at-home dad Jeffrey Harrington started a petition started. That picked up support from the Dad Bloggers Facebook group and topped 13,000 signatures. Eventually, the online giant quietly changed the name to finally recognise the contribution of dads, grandparents and other guardians.
Asda and Coppertone
Asda’s line of foods “chosen by kids – approved by mums” showed the supermarket couldn’t care less about dads’ opinions. Copper tone marketed its children’s suntan lotions in the US on the basis that the protection they offer against harmful rays makes it “easy for moms to love”. The implication here is that it is the mother’s responsibility to ensure a child eats well and stays out of danger.
What dad is up to while mum takes these decisions never fully explained. Presumably he’s busy bodging a long-standing DIY job. Cue dad lusting after a young woman at least three leagues above his, forgetting where he is and falling off his ladder.
The punchline inevitably sees his wife roll her eyes and a team of ad execs will high five. They have successfully recycled the plot of most 1970s sitcoms once again, and earned a packet for doing it.
Marketing to Dads – How to Win Round Dad 2.0
So if you are a brand that wants to get in our hearts, minds, pants and ultimately our pockets, then help entertain, inform or educate us. Here are some key points for marketing to dads.
Don’t patronise us, telling us how to change a nappy.
Don’t tell us we babysit; we parent.
Don’t snigger at the fact that you think we can’t dance. Believe me; we can.
You’ve just been looking in the wrong places.
If you want to start looking in the right places, then CONTACT US NOW!
What Dad 2.0 DOES Like
You’ve heard enough about what we don’t do, what we don’t like. It’s time to tell you what we do like.
We spend time with our families; time that Dad 1.0 didn’t have the opportunity (or possibly the inclination) to spend with their offspring. Yes, we go to the park, to soft play, to the zoo, but we also take the kids dancing, to see bands, to look around exhibitions. Dad 2.0 is involved with his children in leisure time and in their education.
We go out. Not as much as we did before kids, but we love to meet up with mates, eat out, go to gigs. We travel and explore and go on adventures.
Through all of this, we take care of our appearance. Looking good makes us feel good, gives us confidence and a sense of pride. This is not the generation that gave up at 30 and let their dutiful wives bedeck them in baggy tracksuit bottoms and loafers for a trip to the supermarket.
Dad 2.0 is in control of his life, which is a fantastic opportunity for brands, but also a challenge. Are you up for unlocking an untapped resource? Let Don’t Believe the Hype be your guide. Contact us today.