Dads Stake Out Their Role in the Household and Online

September 18, 2021 10:55 pm0 commentsViews:
Dads today are more involved in raising their kids and managing the household than most typical dads of earlier generations. However, many contemporary dads also have an exaggerated sense of how much they really do, according to a new eMarketer report, “How Dads Are Different: Playing a New Role, But Only Up to a Point.” Nonetheless, they are sensitive to their role being undervalued, including by advertisers.

Dads display distinctive patterns of shopping behavior as they increase their purchasing in traditionally female-skewing product categories. About half of dads said they were mostly or always the household member responsible for grocery shopping, according to a February survey from The Parenting Group and public relations company Edelman. More than four in 10 claimed to be the household’s chief cook.

Targeting dads is worth the effort since dads really have taken on more of the household shopping—even if it’s not as much as they suppose. Untraditional though they may feel in some respects, dads often rely on old-fangled marketing channels to inform their grocery decisions. In a May survey from Cone Communications, in-store promotions topped the ranking of sources dads cited as influential. The catchall category “advertising” and traditional media were also high on the list of responses.

And dads have an appetite for information when preparing to shop. In the Edelman survey, 59% of dads (vs. 44% of moms) said they used at least four information sources “to help them make purchase decisions.”

Largely under the radar, dads have joined moms in using digital means to navigate parenthood. Euro RSCG Worldwide got a glimpse of this in May 2012 polling that compared “Digital Dads” (who take the lead as influencers and social media users) and dads who were “Average Joes.” By definition, the Digital Dads were especially likely to post photos of their kids, seek parenting advice online, and so on. What’s striking, though, is that one-fifth or more of Average Joe dads were doing the same.


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