Remember the Brady Bunch? Carol Brady was a lovely lady ahead of her time. I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. While we could focus on the fact that she was all-too-perfect in many ways, she was also the original matriarch of a blended family. Carol Brady was a remarried woman dealing with the stresses of combining two households into one harmonious unit.
Today’s families are even more likely to be “non-traditional” — less likely to be made up of a married, heterosexual couple raising their own biological children. According to Pew Research, fewer than half of kids today live in these types of households.
At the same time, studies tell us that less than half of moms say they see themselves represented in today’s advertising, according to Lightspeed GMI/Mintel. So where are marketers getting it wrong?
In our talks with Millennial moms (and dads) we discovered four ways that marketers can better resonate with today’s families.
The “working moms” vs. “SAHMs” rivalry is not a thing.
With 71% of Moms working today, per Pew Research, the working vs. non-working mom rivalry is a non-issue. Today’s Moms believe the rivalry is over-dramatized. Moms value and feel valued by other Moms who do not have the same work-life situation as they do.
Moms believe they’ve made the best choice for what works best for their individual family. And they don’t apply their standards to other families.
Dad is an equal partner.
The days of dad as the butt of the joke are long gone as moms consider him a partner in the process of raising kids. He’s not the backup parent nor the babysitter. And they consider it downright offensive to show him as inept.
What’s more, Millennial moms don’t see dad’s contribution as remarkable. One mom told us that her older female colleague was amazed that her husband wasn’t constantly texting her during a late-night meeting, seeking guidance on what to do with their toddler for the evening. What was unheard of years ago seems commonplace today.
Diversity is expected.
Moms want to see diverse families represented in communications today, even if their own family may not be diverse. This includes not just diversity when it comes to race, but also biracial, disabled and same-sex partners who are parents. They feel this reflects the world in which their kids will grow up and a progressive attitude that is aligned with where they feel society is going.
As one mom said, “Yes, I want to see diversity because I want my kids to grow up not even noticing it's there … I don't mind this being a little idealistic.” This notion is in direct response to the current rise of hate crimes and other discriminatory practices that they thought we were past.
Show them what’s real.
Today’s moms want to see the good stuff about family life, but you needn’t sugarcoat it. Raising kids is a tough and messy business, and it’s okay to acknowledge that. Don’t get us wrong – it’s great to end up on a positive note. Who doesn’t love a happy ending? But acknowledging the bad along with the good makes it more real and relatable.
Take a look at the Samsung ads that feature actors Kristin Bell and Dax Sheppard. Each scenario shows a minor family crisis where mom and dad work together to solve the dilemma of the moment with the aid of a state-of-the-art Samsung household product.
Moms today want to see a realistic portrayal of parenting that involves decent dads, diverse families and doesn’t perpetuate stereotypes that no longer ring true to their lives. Are your brands on board with that?