Blogging Out Loud

Connecting You with the Latest Marketing Tips and Trends.

From Mad Men to Modern Men.

Family dynamics are in flux as more dads choose home life.

Sure she looks cute, but the 1950s housewife is a thing of the past. Today, men and women share in parenting decisions and responsibilities, and new marketing reflects that.

My world’s abuzz with previews for and speculation about the new season of Mad Men, which premieres this Sunday, July 25 on AMC. I can’t help but wonder how “the new” Don Draper will evolve, or what kinds of antics and drama will unfold at “the new” Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The only certainty seems to lay in what we – some 40 years later – already know: as the fictional lives of Mad Men move forward, gender roles, stereotypes and the good ol’ business of selling stuff is gonna start to look a little different. I’m hard- pressed to imagine a world in which women could not run countries, let alone companies, and in which stay-at-home dads didn’t occupy every other table at the local coffee shop (BabyBjörn and all). What I wouldn’t give to see what the boys (and Peggy) would do today, with our heightened consumer awareness, shattered glass ceilings and shift in family dynamics. The San Jose Mercury News recently ran an article about the trend of more men choosing to stay at home after being laid off as a result of the slowing economy. And almost as if on cue, Proctor & Gamble has launched a new Web site called Man of the House that dishes advice on topics historically reserved for the Betty Draper’s of the world: cooking and cleaning, child rearing, there’s even a section called “Looking Good” which addresses aging and style concerns. Speaking to Reuters, Proctor & Gamble Productions spokeswoman Jeannie Tharrington said the site “will eventually be used as a vehicle for advertising P&G’s household and other brands.” In the meantime, the site is relatively ad-free and chock-full of information for what the site’s editor calls “the post-hunt man.” From Mad Men to “post-hunt” Modern Men, it makes for good business – whether it’s theirs or ours.

Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like the shift in family and workplace dynamics warrant a shift in how day-to-day household products are marketed. Real-life Mad Men are now Mr. Mom. Boy, has the world has changed.

In the new modern family, dads are sharing – and in some cases taking over – in the household decision-making process. No longer are women ages 25-49 the key demographic for marketers, as they were in 1963. While Proctor & Gamble may not declare that daddies are the new mommies, the company is certainly tapping into this new trend in subtle – and I predict successful – ways. The Mercury News article cites research from University of Oregon sociologist Scott Coltrane, who asserts that the shift not only makes sense, but that it will continue. “Even before the recession, fathers were taking a larger role in family responsibilities as dual-income families became more the norm,” Coltrane is quoted as saying. “We have much more tag-team parenting.”

That makes for tag-team shopping, which makes integrated marketing trickier. On Mad Men and throughout history, we’ve seen how very different men and women are. The old adage “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” isn’t just about relationships. For example, we know that while women tend to be slower to make a decision, they are more likely to be even-keeled about that decision over time. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to consider their current needs (or, in this case, their family’s) versus their long-term ones. The question remains, will that change, too?

One thing is clear: marketers should carefully consider their message – whether it’s regarding a product’s benefits, or the language and visuals used to sell it. It’s unlikely Don Draper will sport a housecoat this Sunday, but the fellas tuning-in are another story.

Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.
Photo credit: jfrancis
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About JJ Nelson

Freelance blogger for Vertical Marketing Network; food writer; bartender.

10 comments on “From Mad Men to Modern Men.

  1. pinterest.com
    October 3, 2014

    Hype started to develop and it seemed that if this deal was
    true, it would more than likely happen. I don’t mean to start
    the review of this Album on a negative, but honestly
    with the high expectations, already simmering enroute to picking
    up the album; it was such a let down. Well, I don’t sit right down, first I go through my ritual.

    Like

  2. print management solutions
    September 30, 2014

    This is all accomplished without ever having to ask the customer that age old question: “how did you find us. After hearing about George’s success we all agreed using a landing page along with direct mail marketing was something we are all going to try in the future. Great copywriting can almost always make them keep your print ad every time.

    Like

  3. test
    February 21, 2013

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post
    plus the rest of the website is extremely good.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Brave New Advertising. « Blogging Out Loud

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  6. Ryan Bish
    July 27, 2010

    It’s getting pretty complex out there if you ask me. I guess the job of the marketer was quite simple back in the 50’s but nowadays there are so many dynamics that as soon as you figure the market out it has already changed and left you in the cold. The trend was, women stayed and worked at home. Now we have the following: Single Dads, Single Moms, Single people, unmarried women, unmarried men, unmarried couples, unmarried partners, single Dads/Moms with adult children, grandparents living with parents, Children living with Grandparents, Single Grandparents, Single people with pets, I almost forgot to mention married couples. These changes coupled with newer technology & the bad economy really make things difficult for advertisers but maybe you see it as exciting, I really don’t even know how to describe the situation nowadays…funny I guess, not ha ha funny…just interestingly funny, I don’t really know what to think to be honest…You left me speechless on this one.

    Like

  7. Joanna
    July 22, 2010

    I am beyond excited for the new season! I cannot wait to see how Don takes on his role as divorced father of three and though I want to believe he will step up to the plate and challenge some of the gender roles that were so firmly cemented at this time, we have seen too often how he can be his own worst enemy.
    After watching Mad Man every week, it’s impossible not to see the glaring differences between the family life they lead and the one I grew up with and now live in. As families now come in all varieties- dual fathers, mothers or single parents, it is only natural that the responsibilities will be shaken up to mirror what works for each individual family. Bad at organization- why not leave it up to the tidy one in the family. Love to find deals and comparison shop- why not be the one to shop for the household? It seems that logic and honesty are finally playing the roles that they should in family life. It is no longer about defining yourself or your family in the eyes of what magazines, TV or history have told you is ‘right’. And I for one am happy to admit I am not the tidy one!

    Like

  8. Danielle Conte
    July 21, 2010

    In addition to Dads, both Grandparents and Aunts are becoming increasingly larger target markets. Check out this site that was developed to cater to aunts: http://www.savvyauntie.com (described as an online community for cool aunts, great aunts, godmothers and all women who love kids).

    Like

  9. Nicco
    July 20, 2010

    Great post! I have two close friends that have taken on new roles of Mr. Mom and they are definitely more aware of household related marketing and advertising now than ever before. Even in my duel income household, I am the primary grocery shopper and share the cooking, cleaning and child duties because that is the most efficient way to get everything done. FSIs, in-store and online promotional offers from brands and retailers help me stretch the family budget. Albertsons, Costco and Target are all good examples of retailers that distribute online and direct mail offers to me regularly on the brands that I typically buy. Those offers really drive our household purchases and where we shop for those items in order to get the most bang for our buck.

    Separately, on the Mad Men front, I was running an errand for my wife at the mall and noticed that Banana Republic is doing an open casting call for a walk on role on the Mad Men show. Maybe one of the Mr. Mom’s out there can stand out by dressing up as a House Dad that bucks the traditional 1950’s system and win. See the following link:http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/2010/07/mad-men-casting-call.php

    Like

    • JJ Nelson
      July 20, 2010

      Thanks, Nicco! And thanks for the BR tip!

      Like

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