Mr. Mom 2.0

Huggies received major backlash for its “Dad Test” campaign, depicting fathers as incompetent and lazy—leaving the job for mom. But the stereotype is dwindling and the opportunity for brands to market their products or services to stay-at-home dads is growing.

Early in 2012, Huggies brand launched a campaign that demonstrated how Huggies products held up to “daddyhood”— clearly a test of strength…right? Well, according to ABC News, what Huggies meant to say was that the products were being put to the test—not the dads.

This goes to show: how you say something is often times more important than what you say.

Huggies’ Facebook page was flooded with negative comments and many people felt it was an inaccurate and offensive portrayal. According to ABC News, the campaign drove Chris Routly, a full-time, stay-at-home father from Pennsylvania, to start a “We’re dads, Huggies. Not dummies” petition, asking Huggies to rethink its campaign message, receiving over one thousand votes.

In an article from Adweek, Bruce Jacobson, associate creative director at Y&R New York stated, “Advertising is a form of art. Art is only good as long as it reflects the truth—especially our kind of art, where we are trying to do art that persuades…The best ads come up with that kernel of truth that is going to resonate with the person seeing it.”

The ads resonated with those who saw it, all right. In fact, so well that it was pulled off the air.

So, how can we advertise to stay-at-home dads without offending anyone?

The advertising message varies from product to product, but the same rules apply for every campaign—you must do your homework. Get into the mind of your audience and understand who he or she really is.  Developing a relationship with your customers builds his or her trust and establishes loyalty with the brand.

The truth is, more and more men are taking on the role of caretaker and primary grocery shopper.  A larger percentage of men cook, clean, shop, and change diapers.  It’s 2012.

What do you think is the best way to tap into this growing market—without offending anyone?

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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