As mom marketers, we like to give dad his day -- that one day in June when our marketing-to-mom efforts take on a more masculine hue as we celebrate everything that dad has to offer. But, today's dad has a much more active role in the day-to-day operations of family life and is adding new dimension to our traditional marketing to mom strategies. "Moms and dads are so blended in how they raise their kids and the roles they take on in and out of the household," says George Bardenheier, president of Life Event Targeting, Inc. and Marketing To Dad. "The definition of what a 'mom' or 'dad' does is not as structured as it once was."
This new family dynamic has led numerous brands to include dad as part of their overall marketing to mom messaging -- even beyond the month of June. The latest successful marketing-to-dad efforts come from Chrysler Town & Country's "The Quiet Ones" and Google Chrome's "Dear Sophie." Both campaigns are great examples of what works well when it comes to marketing to dads and how the best dad campaigns also connect with moms. As you prepare to add dad to your marketing-to-mom conversation, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Talk to Dad -- this seems obvious, but it is often missed. Many marketers wrap their marketing-to-dad efforts in pure marketing-to-mom moments. While some strategies cross over (storytelling, humor, etc.), a conversation with dad needs to resonate with, well, dads. The beauty of the two campaigns mentioned above is that they hit those moments where dad feels at his absolute parenting best -- a win/win with both dads and moms.
- Recognize Dad's Involvement -- both campaigns show, in a subtle way, that dad has an active role in parenting. Until now, the role of "dad" was usually one of being silly or immature, not necessarily the parent that gets things done. "Dads help make things happen," says Bardenheier. "There is a societal dynamic, an evolution of families, that makes today's dads much more actively involved with their kids."
- Think Collaboration -- there is a sense of collaboration on the part of mom and dad, which really makes the messaging resonate for many of today's families. "The more cohesive marketers can help portray, or model, the collaboration of mom and dad, the better they are going to be."
- Don't Ignore Mom -- "Never challenge mom's position or authority," adds Bardenheier. These campaigns work because you still see mom as part of the equation, even if you never see her face or hear her voice. "It is important for the campaign to be something mom can feel good about and appreciate," says Bardenheier. "It can't just win with dad, it has to win with mom also."