Does The Buying Power of Dads Really Matter?

Recently several articles dealing with the role of today’s modern father and how marketers should view them popped up in my news feed. As a longtime dad blogger with a background in marketing and experience working with major brands, I have a keen interest in such information. One of the reasons I blog is to help collectively reinforce a positive image of fatherhood, and in a sense, the way marketers represent dads in their campaigns can serve as a gauge of success in regards to this.  Sometimes brands get it, and sometimes they don’t. Often the difference is the reality verses perception.

The reality, it seems, is that men place a higher value on their involvement as fathers over other more traditional functions. According to Boston College’s 2011 The New Dad Report, when it came to defining what it meant to be good father, men prioritized providing emotional support, being present, and being a teacher well above other aspects such as providing discipline and financial security.  This, of course, is a big shift from the days when being a good father was measured by merely bringing home the bacon. So too is the amount of time fathers spend with their children, a metric a Pew Study discovered has tripled since 1965.

Based on these and other findings we know fathers are more involved. What then are marketers to make of this? A number of brands to include DoveSubaru, and Tide have gotten behind this movement by introducing campaigns involving dads. However, is the hype surrounding dads justified? Not necessarily says Stephanie Azzarone, founder of Child’s Play Communications and blogger at Mom Market Trends.


Breaking Dad: Say My Name

First allow me to apologize for the “Breaking Dad” portion of my title. I realize it’s a bit cliché, and thousands of dad bloggers and journalists have probably already worn it out. Hopefully, though, by the end of this you’ll agree it still applies.

By admission I was a latecomer to the television phenomena that was Breaking Bad. I resisted the hoopla for as long as I could, but left with nothing substantial to entertain us, my wife and I binged our way through all five seasons in a matter of a few weeks.

Naturally, as a father and husband I was drawn to the show’s premise: A once world-class chemist, turned teacher, manufactures methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial security after learning he is dying of cancer. Simply put, the man wanted to provide for his family, and debate me if you want, but I believe this is an inherent instinct men are wired with.

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