Dads have a fever, and the only prescription is a new thermometer

Somebody may want to tell the marketing team at Exergen that there’s something unique about its product which it clearly didn’t realize before sending out its latest rebate offer via email: dads can use thermometers, too.exergen

I know, I know, this may seem hard to believe. We all know there’s certain things each gender can’t do: women don’t know how to use power tools; men can’t become nurses; women can’t play sports; men can’t cook.

But we’re here to say that despite these gender inadequacies, it’s entirely plausible that dads may be able to hold an instrument – and a baby! – and measure its fever. Why? Because they care. Because they count. Because they’re parents, too.

You’ll have to forgive us for our heavy dose of cynicism, but we’re living in a world where companies are spending so much money on making its creation the absolutely best it can be (or as Exergen puts it, “changing the way the world takes temperature”), and remaining so wrapped up in product development, that they tend to overlook one key component: to whom they’re selling.

exergen2That a classic marketing misstep, because there are a lot of thermometer companies out there. Perhaps Exergen offers the world’s finest thermometer that will ever be made, and no other product on the market can compare.

But if it isn’t speaking to dads, they why would the “other half” of its customer base listen?

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Oh, no you didn’t!

The employees of dadmarketing love moms.  We think the world of moms.  We love our own moms.  We think being a mom is a noble calling.

So, it is no wonder, after reading one of the more influential and innovative mommy blogger sites around, we ask why the adoration can’t work both ways?

You’ve no doubt heard of renowned Norwegian mommy blogger Lirpa Sloof. In her latest entry at http://www.dadscantdoanythingright.com, she offers this stunning quote:

“Dads really have no purchasing power whatsoever.  Sure, I see them in stores, but it’s only because they’re handing the credit card to the mom, and then nodding approvingly at everything she buys,”  said Sloof.  “I would argue that dads don’creditcardt even know what that credit card does, nor do they know how to use it.”

Her eye-opening blog continues:  “It would make things much easier if dads couldn’t carry credit cards, and were banned from even entering stores.  It’s not like they do anything useful for their families, unless you count sitting on a couch and watching sports as useful.”

We know there aren’t many mommy bloggers out there, and it’s hard to take issue with what Sloof has to say — she is in a league of her own:  she runs one of the top websites in the history of the Internet, serves as President & CEO of a major worldwide automotive manufacturer, exercises for six hours a day, bakes homemade cookies for her kids, coaches their soccer teams, handles several community fundraisers and serves in the Peace Corps.  During her down time she likes to hand-sew American flags, volunteer at the humane society, write romance novels and pick up refuse in her adopt-a-turnpike program.

I’d go on-and-on, but I have a credit card application to finish.

So what do you think, should men be banned from shopping?  We’d love to hear from you.

Games people play

I don’t watch much TV, but I did see an interesting commercial during the Olympics, and you probably did, too.katyperry

There’s a Cover Girl ad which involves some major female celebrities exclaiming “Girls Can’t” — do this and that.  Of course, we all know girls/women can do absolutely anything, so you have to figure there’s something more to see.  It compels you to watch.  Well done, Cover Girl.  I liked it.

But apparently men, specifically dads, cannot do everything.  And that everything involves activities and games with their children.

Who says so?  Kellogg’s says so.

On the back of their Cars movie-themed fruit snacks, they offer six fun game ideas which kids can play:  h-0-r-s-e, flashlight tag, alphabet game, etc.  In the descriptions of the games, they implore kids to seek the help of but one gender:

– From Cloud Shapes game:  “Point them out to Mom and yell out what you think they are.”

– From Charades game:  “In this game, have Mom write down the names of different animals…”

– From Build a Snowman game:  “Finally, get that carrot Mom has in the fridge…”

Sure, it’s rather inconspicuous on the package, but as anyone in a relationship will tell you, it’s the little things that count.

So, Kellogg’s, please don’t be like all the other cereal companies.  (And believe me, there’s more to explore.)  See what you can do about keeping dads an important part of your marketing mix.