Make room for daddy

In a world in which we share an ethical imperative to value all people, this means finding a place for everyone. Consider the plight of today’s fathers. Well, not all of them, but think about the semi-evolved ones who actually think about and participate in domestic life and are willing to set aside a bit of gender privilege.imgres-5-4.21.40-PM-218x150

It turns out those fathers – the good guys, relatively speaking – have been getting mocked and bullied by mainstream media and advertising, and some of them are getting a bit weepy about it. Hence, today’s piece in the New York Times about a group of daddy bloggers who are talking about their “feelings” about it all

“The hapless, bumbling father is a stock character in product marketing. He makes breakfast for dinner and is incapable of handling, or sometimes even noticing, a soggy diaper. He tries desperately to hide the crumb-strewn, dirt-streaked evidence of his poor parenting before the mother gets home.

“This is an image that many fathers who attended the Dad 2.0 Summit — a meeting of so-called daddy bloggers and the marketers who want to reach them — have come to revile. They are proud to be involved in domestic life and do not want to serve as the comic foil to the supercompetent mother.

“In the past, consumer-product marketers weren’t all that concerned with what fathers thought — women, after all, make the majority of purchasing decisions for households. But men are catching up: In 2012 men spent an average of $36.26 at the grocery store per trip, compared with $27.49 in 2004, according to data from Nielsen. Companies see an opportunity to reach a new demographic.

“The bloggers, for their part, are using their influence to change the way marketers portray them. “The payoff is huge if you get dads right,” says Jim Lin, vice president and digital strategist at Ketchum Public Relations in San Francisco, a blogger at The Busy Dad Blog and a father of two.

“To put it another way, while the mom space is crowded with players, the dad space has room for more. So there is big money to be made, both by companies looking at fathers as consumers and by daddy bloggers looking to ride a wave of brand sponsorship just as mommy bloggers have.

“THE 200 or so bloggers and media professionals who attended the second annual Dad 2.0 conference in Houston from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 were mainly in their 30s and 40s. They tended to wear well-fitting jeans, button-down shirts and blazers, and they were quick to whip out pictures of their children on their iPhones.”


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