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Marketing to Dads - US - March 2012

Dads are playing a more active role in many aspects of family life once considered the exclusive domain of moms. While the recession can be credited for some of the blurring of gender roles, it is also the result of a longer-term, generational shift in attitudes and expectations. Today’s new dads enter fatherhood with far fewer gender-based preconceptions of what parenthood should be compared with their own fathers. Traditionally mom-focused brands and retailers have only begun to reach out to the new, more family-focused generation of dads, leaving a significant market opportunity largely untapped.

This report provides an in-depth analysis of what’s important to dads as they engage more deeply in everyday parenting, including:

  • An analysis of dads’ employment status, childcare participation, and family living arrangements; and how these have been impacted by the recession and its aftermath.
  • A close look at how dads spend time during the week, including the reality, their ideal, and their priorities for a hypothetical extra hour in the day.
  • A review of several marketers’ efforts to connect with dads; as well as campaigns that have drawn critical responses from an increasingly vocal online dad community.
  • Dads’ perspective on who takes responsibility for most day-to-day parenting duties, including child care, shopping, cooking, and laundry.
  • Dads’ greatest parenting concerns and pressures, and how becoming a parent changes dads’ purchasing behaviors, priorities, and attitudes.
  • What dads really want for Father’s Day.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Abbreviations and terms
            • Executive Summary

                • Fathers present in the household of about seven in 10 kids
                  • Figure 1: Who children live with, by father’s status/number of parents, 2011
                • Working status of dads: “mancession” a myth? Not for dads
                  • Figure 2: Unemployment and underemployment status of men with children younger than 18, 2007-10
                • Dads spend most time working, but kids also receive significant time
                  • Figure 3: How parents spend a typical weekday, by gender, December 2011
                • Dads value healthy and educational activities
                  • Figure 4: Changes in time dads spend on healthy and educational activities, December 2011
                • Dads aspire to engagement in all aspects of parenting
                  • Figure 5: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities according to dads, December 2011
                • Dads less attuned to deals than moms, but savings still important
                  • Figure 6: Changes in time dads spend on shopping-related activities, December 2011
                • Dads more involved in home cooking
                  • Younger dads especially interested in organic and local
                    • Figure 7: Changes in time dads spend on activities related to meals and nutrition, December 2011
                  • Like moms, dads rely on a variety of sources, primarily offline
                    • Younger dads particularly active information seekers
                      • Figure 8: Dads’ information sources for parenting, December 2011
                    • Dads more involved in sports and clubs, increasingly involved at school
                      • Figure 9: Parents' behaviors relating to participation in kids’ activities, by gender, December 2011
                    • Less pressure to “do it all” but greater desire to participate in kids’ lives
                      • Figure 10: Parenting pressures according to dads, December 2011
                    • Simple gifts and expressions most desired Father’s Day gifts
                      • Figure 11: Ideal Father’s Day gift, December 2011
                    • What we think
                    • Insights and Opportunities

                        • Breaking down dividing lines in parent marketing
                            • Figure 12: Sainsbury’s “Dad & Son” TV ad, 2011
                        • Inspire Insights

                            • Trend: Men Shopping Badly
                              • Trend: Play Ethic
                              • Dads and their Families

                                • Key points
                                  • Male population
                                    • Figure 13: U.S. male population, by age, 2006-16
                                  • Recession slowed increase in new dads
                                    • Figure 14: U.S. children aged 5 and younger, 2006-16
                                  • Number of households with kids continues to decline
                                    • Figure 15: U.S. Households, by presence of children younger than 18, 2000-11
                                  • Seven in 10 kids live with two parents
                                    • Older kids less likely to live with two parents
                                      • Single dads far outnumbered by single moms
                                        • Figure 16: Who children live with, by child’s age, 2011
                                      • Single dads more likely than single moms to be divorced
                                        • Figure 17: Marital status of single-parent family groups with children younger than 18, by gender, 2011
                                      • More young families rely on grandparents for support
                                        • Figure 18: U.S. children living in grandparents' home by presence of parent(s), 2000-11
                                      • Today’s dads spend more time with kids, but fewer fathers in the home
                                      • Working Status of Dads

                                        • Key points
                                          • “Mancession” a myth? Not for dads
                                            • Figure 19: Employment status of men and women with children younger than 18, 2007-10
                                            • Figure 20: Employment status of men and women with children younger than six, 2007-10
                                          • Stay-at-home dads
                                            • Figure 21: Married-couple family groups with children younger than 15 and one working/one stay-at-home* parent, 2004-10
                                          • Single-dad families at a financial disadvantage to married couples
                                            • Figure 22: Incomes of households with children, by household type, 2010
                                          • Increase in work/family conflict among men
                                          • A Dad’s Life: Time Use for a Typical Weekday

                                            • Key points
                                              • Dads spend most time working, but kids also receive significant time
                                                • Figure 23: How parents spend a typical weekday, by gender, December 2011
                                              • Younger dads spend more time than older dads caring for kids
                                                • Younger dads work more hours too
                                                  • Figure 24: How dads spend a typical weekday, by age, December 2011
                                                • Dads of older kids devote less time to kid care, but feel more pressure
                                                  • Figure 25: How dads spend a typical weekday, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                              • How Dads Would Spend the Ideal Weekday

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Less time at work, more time with partner, friends, and family
                                                    • Figure 26: How dads spend a typical weekday, an ideal weekday, and difference, December 2011
                                                  • Younger dads would work less on an ideal day
                                                    • Figure 27: Difference between how dads spend a typical weekday and an ideal weekday, by age, December 2011
                                                • How Dads Would Spend an Extra Hour in the Day

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Family and spouse come first for dads
                                                      • Extra work not a priority
                                                        • Figure 28: How parents would spend an extra hour of the day, by gender, December 2011
                                                      • Older dads more likely to want extra time for spouse and for kid care
                                                        • Figure 29: How dads would spend an extra hour of the day, by age, December 2011
                                                    • Dads and Childcare

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • More than one in five dads report serving as primary caregiver
                                                          • Figure 30: Children’s primary caretaker on weekdays, according to parents, by gender, December 2011
                                                        • Both mom and dad claim to care for kids on weekend
                                                          • Figure 31: Children’s primary caretaker on weekends, according to parents, by gender, December 2011
                                                      • Changes in Time Spent on Family Activities

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Both moms and dads value healthy and educational activities
                                                            • An opportunity to engage dads in kid fitness and outdoor fun
                                                              • Educational engagement also an opportunity
                                                                • Dads more likely to play video games and take kids to the movies
                                                                  • Figure 32: Changes in time parents spend on family entertainment and activities, by gender, December 2011
                                                                • Dads with young kids more engaged healthy and educational activities
                                                                  • Figure 33: Changes in time dads spend on family entertainment and activities, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                              • Dads’ Online Activities

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Dads a little less likely than moms to engage in social media
                                                                    • Dads more kid-fun focused online and off
                                                                      • Figure 34: Parents’ changes in time spent on social networking sites, by gender, December 2011
                                                                    • Younger dads more likely to be engaged in social media
                                                                      • Figure 35: Dads’ changes in time spent on social networking sites, by age, December 2011
                                                                    • Online shopping a little less frequent for dads
                                                                      • Blogging participation on a par with moms
                                                                        • Figure 36: Parents’ online activities in the last 30 days, by gender, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                    • Dads’ Perspectives on Sharing Family Responsibilities

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • A wide gender gap in perceived parenting participation
                                                                          • Focusing on the aspiration to be an involved dad
                                                                            • Striking the right balance
                                                                              • Figure 37: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, Part I, by gender, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 38: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, Part II, by gender, December 2011
                                                                            • Young dads modestly more likely to claim shared or sole responsibility
                                                                              • Figure 39: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part I, age, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 40: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part II, by age, December 2011
                                                                          • Changes in Time Spent on Shopping Activities

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Dads less attuned to deals than moms, but savings is important
                                                                                • Figure 41: Changes in time parents spend on shopping-related activities, by gender, December 2011
                                                                              • Younger dads more focused on budget shopping
                                                                                • Social shoppers
                                                                                  • Figure 42: Changes in time dads spend on shopping-related activities, by age, December 2011
                                                                              • How Parenthood Changes Purchasing Habits

                                                                                • Overview: parenthood motives new concerns, shopping trade-offs
                                                                                  • Durability and value
                                                                                    • Product safety
                                                                                      • Sharper focus on nutrition
                                                                                        • Still, dads may be a little more impulsive
                                                                                          • Figure 43: Changes in purchasing habits since becoming a parent/kids getting older, by gender and age of oldest child, December 2011
                                                                                      • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                        • Overview: Work in progress
                                                                                          • Tide and the stay-at-home dad
                                                                                            • Figure 44: Tide laundry detergent “Stay at Home Dad” TV ad, 2011
                                                                                          • Clorox tests
                                                                                            • Figure 45: Clorox bleach “Time to go Teddy” TV ad, 2011
                                                                                          • Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes makes dads the target
                                                                                            • Figure 46: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes “Share What You Love” TV ad, 2011
                                                                                          • Sports media tie-in
                                                                                            • Figure 47: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes “Pregame Moments” TV ad, 2011
                                                                                          • Ongoing support of kids’ sports
                                                                                            • Huggies “Dad Test”
                                                                                              • Figure 48: Huggies “Ultimate Test–Ball Game” TV ad, 2012
                                                                                            • Ragu had run into a similar issue
                                                                                              • Car ads go from guy to dad
                                                                                                • Figure 49: Volkswagen Jetta “Is It Fast?” TV ad, 2012
                                                                                              • Go-Gurt goes for “dads who get it”
                                                                                                • Figure 50: Gogurt Yogurt “Moms Who Get It” TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                • Figure 51: Gogurt Yogurt “Dads Who Get It” TV ad, 2011
                                                                                            • Changes in Time Spent on Meals and Nutrition

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Dads more involved in home cooking
                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Changes in time parents spend on activities related to meals and nutrition, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                • Younger dads especially interested in organic and local
                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Changes in time dads spend on activities related to meals and nutrition, by age, December 2011
                                                                                              • Sources of Parenting Information

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Like moms, dads rely on a variety of sources
                                                                                                    • Offline sources more likely to be cited than online
                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Parents’ information sources for parenting, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                    • Younger dads cite a wider variety of information sources
                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Dads’ information sources for parenting, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                  • Family Time/Involvement/Technology

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Dads less involved at school, more involved in sports and clubs
                                                                                                        • Education opportunity
                                                                                                          • Sports a pathway for connecting with dads
                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Parents' behaviors relating to family time, involvement, and technology, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                          • Higher-income dads more involved in kids’ activities and school
                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Dads' behaviors relating to family time, involvement, and technology, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                          • Participation in kids’ activities rises sharply in elementary school
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Dads' behaviors relating to family time, involvement, and technology, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                        • Parenting Concerns

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Moms and dads share long list of concerns
                                                                                                              • Helping dads help families cut through the stress
                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Parenting concerns, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                              • Concerns greatest among lower-income dads
                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Dads’ parenting concerns, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                            • Parenting Pressures

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • More concerns, more pressure for today’s parents
                                                                                                                  • Dads more likely to desire greater involvement in their kids’ lives
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Parenting pressures, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Parenting pressures according to dads, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                • Changes in Financial/Emotional/Lifestyle Dynamics

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Moms and dads feel more financial stress with parenthood
                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Changes in parents’ perceptions of financial stress and security since becoming a parent/kids growing older, by gender and by age of oldest child, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Both moms and dads feel a big increase in responsibility
                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Changes in parents’ perceptions of responsibility, free time, and control since becoming a parent/kids growing older, by gender and by age of oldest child, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Dads less pessimistic about how parenthood impacts appearance
                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Changes in parents’ perceptions of relationships, health, and appearance since becoming a parent/kids growing older, by gender and by age of oldest child, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • A somewhat less emotional response from dads
                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Changes in Parents’ perceptions of emotional wellbeing since becoming a parent/kids growing older, by gender and by age of oldest child, December 2011
                                                                                                                  • Dads’ Values/Qualities/Behavior Priorities for Their Kids

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Less consensus among dads on most important values and behaviors
                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Parents’ values/behavior priorities for their kids, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                      • Like moms, younger dads more focused on communication
                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Dads’ values/behavior priorities for their kids, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                      • Dads a little more interested than moms in athletic ability and popularity
                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Parents’ qualities priorities for their kids, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                      • Higher-income dads more likely to value well-roundedness
                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Dads’ qualities priorities for their kids, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Ideal Father’s Day Gift

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Father’s Day spending on the rise, but still trails mom by a wide margin
                                                                                                                          • Simple gifts and expressions most desired, guy stuff appreciated too
                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Ideal Father’s Day/Mother’s Day gift, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                          • Older dads more narrowly focused on family
                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Ideal Father’s Day gift, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                          • Employment status
                                                                                                                            • Nonworking dads only modestly more likely to handle some family tasks
                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part I, by employment status, December 2011
                                                                                                                            • Nonworking dads far more likely to serve as kids’ caretakers
                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Children’s primary caretaker on weekdays, according to dads, by employment status, December 2011
                                                                                                                            • Nonworking dads less likely to buy local and organic
                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Changes in time dads spend on activities related to meals and nutrition, by employment status, December 2011
                                                                                                                            • Marital status and living arrangement
                                                                                                                              • Solo dads spend only a little more time taking care of kids
                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: How Dads spend a typical weekday, by marital status and living arrangement, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Solo dads highly likely to handle parenting tasks themselves
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part I, by marital status, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Dads with partners or spouses more involved in kids’ activities
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Dads' behaviors relating to family time, involvement, and technology, by marital status, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                • Time use for a typical weekday
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: How dads spend a typical weekday, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: How dads spend a typical weekday, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Time difference between typical and ideal weekday
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Difference between how dads spend a typical weekday and an ideal weekday, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Changes in time spent on family activities
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Changes in time dads spend on family entertainment and activities, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Changes in time dads spend on family entertainment and activities, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Changes in time dads spend on family entertainment and activities, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Dads’ online activities
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Dads’ changes in time spent on social media sites, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Dads’ changes in time spent on social media sites, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Dads’ perspective on sharing family responsibilities
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part I, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part II, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part I, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part II, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part I, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Who handles parenting and household responsibilities, according to dads, Part II, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Children’s primary caretaker
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Children’s primary caretaker on weekdays according to dads, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Children’s primary caretaker on weekdays according to dads, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: Children’s primary caretaker on weekdays according to dads, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 96: Children’s primary caretaker on weekdays according to dads, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Changes in time spent on shopping-related activities
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 97: Changes in time dads spend on shopping-related activities, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 98: Changes in time dads spend on shopping-related activities, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 99: Changes in time dads spend on shopping-related activities, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Changes in time spent on activities related to meals and nutrition
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 100: Changes in time dads spend on activities related to meals and nutrition, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 101: Changes in time dads spend on activities related to meals and nutrition, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 102: Changes in time dads spend on activities related to meals and nutrition, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Sources of parenting information
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 103: Dads’ information sources for parenting, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 104: Dads’ information sources for parenting, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 105: Dads’ information sources for parenting, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Family time/involvement/technology
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 106: Dads' behaviors relating to family time, involvement, and technology, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 107: Dads' behaviors relating to family time, involvement, and technology, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Parenting concerns
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 108: Dads’ parenting concerns, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 109: Dads’ parenting concerns, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Parenting pressures
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 110: Parenting pressures according to dads, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 111: Parenting pressures according to dads, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 112: Parenting pressures according to dads, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Values/behaviors/qualities priorities for kids
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 113: Dads’ values/behavior priorities for their kids, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 114: Dads’ values/behavior priorities for their kids, by number of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 115: Dads’ values/behavior priorities for their kids, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 116: Dads’ qualities priorities for their kids, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 117: Dads’ qualities priorities for their kids, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 118: Dads’ qualities priorities for their kids, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Ideal Father’s Day gift
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 119: Ideal Father’s Day gift, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 120: Ideal Father’s Day gift, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 121: Ideal Father’s Day gift, by age of children in household, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                • ESPN, Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Families And Work Institute, Inc
                                                                                                                                • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                • Kellogg Company
                                                                                                                                • National Fatherhood Initiative
                                                                                                                                • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                • Whole Foods Market Inc

                                                                                                                                Marketing to Dads - US - March 2012

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