Brandweek: The Surviving Dads Of Ads

November 12, 2007

The Surviving Dads Of Ads

“…Mark Penn’s book Microtrends, a survey of emerging demographic and psychographic groups, includes a chapter on “Neglected Dads.” Penn charts the course of McDonald’s, which figured out early on that marketing directly to kids could increase the bottom line (not to mention those kids’ bottoms). But sometime in the mid 1990s, “moms started paying more attention to what their children ate.” That led to initiatives like 2004’s “McMom,” which includes an online newsletter with tips on parenting.
Yet at a recent company retreat, Penn pointed out to McDonald’s execs that since the 1970s, fathers have been spending more time with their kids. In fact, in 1997, dads living at home spent 65% as much time in the company of their progeny during the week as their mothers did, and 87% as much time on the weekends, per a University of Michigan study.

Penn continues: “This is serious father-child interaction time, say the researchers—which means meals. But where is the McDad initiative? Who’s targeting the volunteer coaches who need a place to take the kids after Saturday’s practice?”…