Growing pains

nutrientsforlifeIn the grand marketplace of life, there are some aisles relatively free of dad exclusion.

True, we’ve seen marketers spoil campaigns for all kind of products and services, but we know we’ll especially find blunders, for example, with those items revolving around child rearing: lunch items, diapers, juice boxes, cereal.

It’s not that we’re giving these companies a free pass, it’s just that our expectations are so low. Put another way, you expect to see garbage in a landfill; anything else is a surprise.

But then there are products that are hard to mess up. I mean, how could any organization who promotes fertilizer really be guilty of dad exclusion? We’re talking fertilizer!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Nutrients for Life Foundation, a group whose mission is to “provide science-based information that helps educate people about the beneficial role of fertilizer.”

It seems like an admirable group, and their recipe card is actually quite novel in how it reminds us that fertilizer is needed to help the apples (used in the recipe) grow.

The truth is that NFLF probably meant no harm. This isn’t Kix cereal or Jif Peanut Butter, who actively make no bones about who they want to buy their product.

However, their cute message to “thank mom for the cookies” continues to perpetuate an old-fashioned stereotype, a myth that the kitchen is a place only for mothers (an assertion I’m sure many moms would dislike), and thus dads get excluded in the process.

NFLF’s website boldly proclaims that “Growth Begins with Education,” and thankfully dadmarketing believes the same: growth among marketers for dad inclusion begins with educating them about why this topic is so important.

The good news is that NFLF seems to know a thing or two about recipes, and how you can tinker with the formula to make it even better. The same applies to marketing.

What do you say NFLF?

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Kix it to the curb

kix2We’ve all heard of stories how the mom used to drag the entire family to church, right? There must be some heavenly market research somewhere backing up this stereotype. So why don’t most churches appeal to the moms?

I can see the ads now: “Moms, you can trust in your kids’ salvation at our church, because we know dads don’t have a history of doing it.”

Let us bow our heads and thank heaven above it’s a good thing churches don’t behave like the makers of Kix cereal.

On the front of their famous yellow-orange box you can’t even find the word “cereal” emblazoned, but you certainly can find a rectangle larger than the General Mills logo itself proclaiming their longtime slogan, “Kid-Tested, Mother-Approved.” And they even have this saying copyrighted!

If it wasn’t clear yet as to exactly who they want to pick up and buy their cereal, simply turn the box slightly.

They used the side panel to include a “Message to Moms…” where they promise mothers that they’ll give kids the best of both worlds, nutrition and great taste. Below this is a “Kix Assurance,” proclaiming that “for over 70 years, moms have trusted our commitment to good nutrition.”

The 800 number comment line is listed under all of this, and it makes me wonder if a dad would even dare call it after their promises and claims to moms all over. Dads might need to make a deal with the devil to ever get this cereal to change.

Kix, you’re in my prayers. Amen.