Why Do Breakfast Foods Ignore Dads?

Cereal makers can’t seem to wrap their heads around the notion that dads provide breakfast for their kids.

For years we’ve been pointing out the problems of Cheerios, Kix, Quaker and others who continue to disregard dads as part of their customer base.

The latest offender is General Mills, who not only excludes dads from its latest campaign, but uses a possessive pronoun that contributes to the problem.

If you have children, do you refer to them as “my kids” or “our kids” when speaking with others?

The former connotes a more possessive or singular approach, whereas the latter sends a meaning of togetherness and unity. While “my” may seem harmless and unintentional, it conveys a certain message – whether you believe it or not – to others, but also to your partner.

It’s not uncommon to find stories, comments, or blog posts from women who complain that they’re stuck with the majority of the household and parental duties (that’s no fault of the dad – he’s typically working outside the home, but we’ll save this topic for another day). However, wouldn’t the action of calling the baby “ours” drive home a greater spirit of togetherness when tackling daily familial duties? These women might not feel so alone in their work by calling the children ours.

Companies like General Mills furthers this perception, too. It inconspicuously calls the children “your squad.” That makes dad out to be the lesser parent at best, completely irrelevant at worst. General Mills would do families and society a much better service by speaking in terms of “us.”

Using the word “parent” instead of “mom” won’t make or break the marketing business model, and it won’t make a female look away in disgust. Rather, it will make a dad feel like an included member of the family and feel like a valued customer.

It’s time for change. Words matter.™

Dads are parents, too

mylicon1We’ve heard more than one SAHD’s story about being left out of the conversation while at the local park amongst a group of SAHMs.  And for a dad to get invited to a SAHMs’ playgroup – that’s even less likely to happen.  It’s hard to say if this is the norm, but it happens.

And, it’s unfortunate and unavoidable.

But when the topic is childcare, and a company purposely creates a moms-only club without a dad counterpart?

That’s blatant sexism.  The featured ad – found in a parents magazine, natch – recently caught our eye.  It doesn’t even bother relinquishing dad to the assistant role, it downright ignores him.

Over at mylicon.com, it only gets worse, where it offers Mylicon Moms, yet no similar club for dads.  Read the language on this page; look how Mylicon completely ignores fathers and makes them feel like outsiders:

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How can a dad feel like one with this kind of treatment?  And all this, from a company that claims to offer an “unparalleled experience for consumers.”

Really?  Dads are consumers, and “unparalleled” means “having no equal.”  Sadly, Mylicon has equals, but for all the wrong reasons – among companies who continue to disregard dad as an equal parent.

It’s another example of exclusionary marketing that screams of old fashioned ignorance and chauvinism, as if dads can’t, don’t, or won’t handle basic family health care.

Mylicon, please do what is right, and include dad as part of your marketing mission – because dads who know, know there’s other options for painful gas.