Start spreading the news

Ever since Dad Marketing was founded, we’ve always preached that it’s both the mom and dad who are expecting, not just mom. newyorkbabyshow2.jpg

That might sound strange to some, not just because it’s women who physically carry children, but it’s also because of the way media and marketing shape our thoughts. They’ve conditioned us via advertising imagery and word choice that moms are primary parents:

“More Moms choose the Similac Brand.”
“Thank You Mom by P&G.”
“Moms around the world trust Johnson’s to safely care for their babies.
“See what Moms are saying about the Gerber Grow-Up Plan.”

These words are prominent messages in the public eye telling us that moms are the full-time parents, and dad is merely a part-time helper, at best.

newyorkbabyshow.pngAnd yet, every so often we encounter an organization who Gets It, who realizes that dads matter every bit to the parenting world as moms – and the idea speaks to dads, and markets to them, and listens to them. Suddenly, dads matter and are valued as true parents and customers.

We offer our highest Seal of Approval to the New York Baby Show, who fully acknowledges dads as equal parents. There they exclaim that “parents” are expecting, not just mom.

Keep up the good work New York Baby Show. People notice your inclusion, and someday, everyone will want to be a part of it.

When you don’t even realize you’re being sexist

If you haven’t heard of What’s Up Moms – you should. It claims to be the #1 moms channel on YouTube, and that’s no small feat.

This groups of mom friends aims to produce short, funny videos geared toward women, and throughout it all has been featured nationally while garnering over 550,000 subscribers.

whatsupmoms3There are plenty of items to watch, but check out the video titled, “Dad’s First Time Alone With Baby.”

If you can get past the fact that this sketch is one long commercial for GLAD Press ‘n Seal, you’ll find a video that generally offers a warm, clever look at a dad’s ingenuity and resourcefulness. We enjoy how its creators celebrate the fact that dads parent different.

That’s refreshing and important to see!

However, the title – “Dad’s First Time Alone With Baby” – certainly implies something different doesn’t it?

It implies that dad isn’t an equal parent, and that mom is in charge when it comes to raising children.

That title would have never been written about a mom; imagine: “Mom’s First Time Alone With Baby.” Thus, its current title comes across as sexist and demeaning.

So does mom’s question to dad and baby at the beginning of the video: “Are you sure you guys are gonna be ok?”

Would anyone ever question whether mom could handle a baby alone for the first time or not? Why turn it into an event, and why make it an issue with dads?

The only time someone should ever utter the phrase, “Dad’s first time alone with baby,” is when it’s one of these tearjerking, soldier-meets-baby-for-the-first-time moments.

This video’s sexist approach is so wrong, we’d like to see the title changed and the beginning of the video edited. Keep the funny, just not at dad’s expense.

How about it, What’s Up Moms?

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?

Why Amazon Mom is like a misshelved library book

A trip to the library is a lot like driving on a long-distance vacation.

It’s fun and fascinating, and whether you’re looking for a particular book or just browsing for whatever meets the eye, it’s a pathway to enjoyment that makes the journey as fun as the destination.amazonmom

One time, though, a friend of mine was cruising through the library, and on a mission.  He was looking for a particular book, and nothing else would do.  He visited the right floor, the right section and the right shelf.  The system said it was available, but it wasn’t.  Even the help of a kind librarian was to no avail.

As it turns out, he eventually found that book.  He said he remembers happily holding it, but also scolding it, as if to ask, “If I didn’t know where you were, how could I find you?”

A recent retail experience again reminded him of that misshelved book.

Amazon knows a thing or two about books.  It started as an online bookstore, and eventually diversified to sell nearly anything that can have a price tag placed on it.  It is the largest Internet based company in the United States, and it’s often our first stop shopping destination.

We love Amazon, and it loves us back.  With regular enticements like free shipping, discounts, Black Friday sales, and rewards programs, it’s everything we’d want in a shopping experience, even if we can’t touch and smell the item first.

Then, several years ago it introduced Amazon Mom.amazonmom2

For years, dads have been unfairly mislabeled “Mr. Mom” – a name they find both offensive and erroneous (would anyone dare call a working mother, “Mrs. Dad”?) – so it’s easy to make a sophisticated deduction about what Amazon Mom might entail.

But we don’t want to spoil the fun; here’s Amazon Mom’s own curious self-description:  “(It) is a prime membership program aimed at helping parents and caregivers in the prenatal through toddler years use Amazon to find and save on products that families need.  Amazon Mom is open to anyone, whether you’re a mom, dad, grandparent or caretaker.”

So let’s get this straight:  a dad can join a mom program?  The word mom has become a generic term for parent, like Kleenex is for facial tissues?

And then dads must stop to think:  realistically – as a dad – is Amazon Mom speaking to you?  Does this program’s name suggest something that you would want to browse?  Would you walk into a “mom” retailer, or down a “mom” aisle in a bricks-and-mortar store?

Also recently, we had a pleasant 140-character conversation with the friendly folks at 4moms, a baby robotics company founded in March 2006 which makes high-tech baby gear.

4moms enlightened us that its company name is derived from an initial focus group held that consisted of four mothers.

Cute and unique, indeed, but in a baby world where businesses purposely leave dads out of the parenting mix, it’s a saying that’s well-worn.

Had the name been 3moms or 5moms, we would have never taken issue with anything.  But imagine that the wildly-successful burger-maker franchise Five Guys had been named 4Guys – that means something else entirely, doesn’t it?  We’d all perceive them differently, and wouldn’t women be deservedly up in arms?

We’re sure the desire of 4moms to match true company history with the play-on-words was too good for them to pass up, but you know who gets passed up in the process?

Dads.

Dads are parents too, and it’s time businesses start listening to fathers everywhere.

Judging by its products alone, 4moms seems to have a bright future ahead.  And with a financial backing like no other in cyberspace, Amazon will probably carry on for a long time, that is, unless the recent uproar forces at least an overdue name change.

But like that lost library book, if my friend doesn’t know where these companies are or doesn’t notice them because they’re not speaking to him (he’s even a dad), then how can he find them?  They must not care about dads as customers, right?  If a product is not categorized and shelved properly like that book, do consumers stand a chance at ever finding it, enjoying it, or even using it?

If these companies really cared, perhaps they could start marketing their products to its true customers.

As in, all of them.

Even as a baby, Einstein had to be smarter than this

Shhh dads, please, keep it down!

Go back inside the sports bar, onto the golf course, into your fishing boats, or downstairs into your man cave.  I realize there are only a few places men spend their time, but hide wherever you can, lest the brain trust at Baby Einstein figure out that there is indeed such a thing as a man cave, or that dads even exist.  Don’t blow this, or you might end up having to (swallow hard) raise your childrenbabyeinstein

Think I exaggerate?  I dare you to visit babyeinstein.com and try to find a dad cuddling-with-child.  Although I can’t say I covered every page, I did come across one lone male somewhere buried in the “For parents” section.  However, the ratio must be something like 1,000,000-to-1.

Either Baby Einstein is run entirely by women, or a by management staff who foolishly believes women make all purchase decisions, or their stock photography database simply includes no males.  Who am I kidding, it’s probably all of the above.

Albert Einstein’s name is synonymous with intelligence, but I think even he’d be scratching his head over this stuff.