Watch New Fall Shows and Learn about Millennial Men

by , Sep 23, 2011, 10:12 AM
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With all the new fall TV programming, your DVR is likely getting a more rigorous workout.  But, marketers need not feel guilty for indulging in a little extra couch time.  This is one fall season that watching TV constitutes legitimate "research." 

You're going to learn about Millennial men. 

Previously I discussed the "Seven Things You Need to Know about Millennial Women," now it's time to turn the attention to Gen Y men. 

In a nutshell, they're adjusting the stereotypical definition of masculinity. 

And, TV this season is reflecting that. 

Last June after upfronts, Amy Chozick wrote "A New Generation of TV Wimps" for the Wall Street Journal.  She noted that six of the fall's new sitcoms portrayed men "contemplating their masculinity in a changing world, especially in terms of the successful women who surround them."

For instance, in NBC's Up All Night, Will Arnett plays a stay-at home dad while his wife goes back to work after having a baby.  In Man Up, the lead male character is just as devoted to finding the perfect birthday present for his son as he is about advancing his career. 

Good sitcoms are relatable.  Magid Generational StrategiesTM research indicates these concepts are more relatable to Gen Y men than older men. 

Millennial Men are Less Likely to be the Quintessential Head of Household

Educated and confident Millennial women are taking more active roles in household decisions that have been traditionally the "man's job."  Gen Y men report higher levels of spousal involvement in their decisions than Baby Boomer or Generation X men.  For instance:

·Nearly three out of four Gen Y men say their wife is very involved in vehicle purchases, compared to about half of Baby Boomer or Gen X men

·Half of Millennial men say their wife is very involved in the information sources they use, compared to about a third of Xer men and about a quarter of Boomer men

·Half of Millennial men say their wife is very involved in the personal consumer electronics they use, compared to about four in 10 Xer men and one in five Boomer men.    

Gen Y Men are More Likely to Take On "Mr. Mom" Roles

Although still not what you would call "the norm," more young men are staying home with children.  Fifteen percent of Gen Y men became stay-at-home dads last year or expect to become stay-at-home dads next year. 

More Millennial men say they are very involved in things that have traditionally been the woman's role-about two-thirds of Gen Y men say they are very involved with shopping for children's clothing and shoes, compared to about half of Xer men and four in 10 Boomer men.  Three-quarters of Gen Y men say they are very involved with helping children with schoolwork, compared to about two-thirds of Gen X men and half of Boomer men. 

Gen Y men even say they are more involved than their wives in helping their kids with schoolwork. 

Millennial Men have Stepped Away from Traditional ‘Macho'

The traditional masculine stereotypes are shifting among Millennial men.  Rather than focusing on stoically climbing the corporate ladder, nearly half of Gen Y men care more about being happy than making money. 

Furthermore, our research shows that Millennial men care more about the way they dress and what others think about them than Boomer or Xer men.  One out of four Gen Y men even say they care "a lot." 

While it may not be quite "the end of men" as the notorious Atlantic article heralded, there is a definite shift happening and marketers should take note.  

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