Don’t Forget About Dad: Millennial Parents on Marketing

New Parents On the Block: This is the third in a series of articles looking at Millennial parents’ behavior, growing influence, and marketing preferences.

As Millennials become the majority of parents, their ideal is to share the childcare load, and they expect marketing tropes to change with them. We surveyed the new generation of parents and found out how they feel about ads that include dad, and the brands that forget them.

When we first wrote about how Millennial parents could change families, we told you that parenting as partners will be vital to this generation of parents, and that while in the past moms have received the bulk of attention from brands, now more than ever dads being included in that messaging will matter. As more have started families in the last few years, it’s become even more clear that for them it’s not just about Millennial moms, but about Millennial parents.

This month, we surveyed the new generation of parents to find out their feelings on family advertising, and what they think about ads that include dad and those that forget about him. 52% of Millennial parents told us that ads they see are made for mothers more than fathers, and 83% say they think advertising for parents should appeal to both mothers and fathers equally. There is clearly a demand for more brands to recognize that mom is not carrying the childcare load solo. Amazon is currently learning that lesson, as an online movement in the U.S. puts pressure on the site to rename its “Amazon Mom” service to “Amazon Family.” A petition championed by a dad blogger emphasizes that moms and dads are equal parents that share responsibilities, and points out that the same service is called Amazon Family in many other countries. The push has taken to Twitter and the hashtag #AmazonFamilyUS is being used…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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