Putting the Ad in Dad

June 10, 2019

Q: Why did the marketer fail at harvesting honey?

A: Instead of tapping the hive, he insisted on going B2B.

We couldn’t resist starting our marketing to dads article with a dad joke. Now that we’ve got that out of our system, we will discuss marketing to the 72.2 million fathers in the U.S.  

How do dads shop? Are they brand loyal? We will answer these questions and more in this article, which is your guide to advertising to dads. 

Coupons and Purchasing Behaviors

Coupons play a significant role in dads’ purchasing behaviors. We will examine how dads look for coupons, how coupons impact buying decisions and other buying behaviors in this section.

A lot of dads look for coupons, most of whom turn to the Internet to find them. How many dads seek out and use coupons?

96% of dads use coupons while shopping (vs. 90% of all consumers)

93% of dads look for coupons online before going shopping (vs. 81% of all consumers)

91% of dads look for discounts on a mobile device

63% of dads prefer to download coupons to their shopper loyalty card

61% of dads want to receive coupons via the mail or their mobile devices

57% of dads want to receive discounts in the mail

Coupons can make or beak a dad’s purchase decision.

86% of dads switch brands based on an in-store discount notification via their mobile device

85% of dads plan to buy a product only if there is a coupon (vs. 71% of all consumers)

43% of dads bought more products if they had coupons for them (vs. 23 % of all consumers)

54% of dads will go to other stores rather their primary store for better deals

For most dads, shopping isn’t just about grabbing coupons and heading off to the store. 98% of dads prepare a shopping list before going shopping. Most of those dads who make lists (96%) said that coupons influenced that list. And that list is likely to be digital-72% of dads use a shopping list app on their smartphones.

Reviews factor into dads’ pre and post-purchasing behaviors. 63% of dads research product ratings/reviews before making a purchase. And 86% of dads share post-purchase reviews (vs. 73% of moms).

What kind of a shopping experience do dads look for?




Dads and Brands

Are dads loyal to a specific brand? 

Dads are 6% more likely to acknowledge the important role that brands play in their lives than non-dads.

45% of dads said brands play an important role in their lives, vs. the 39% of non-dads who said so.

Becoming a parent caused more than 4 in 10 dads to switch brands (41%). Of those dads who switched, it happened most often in specific verticals, including grocery, food/beverage, household cleaning products and personal care products. 

Discounts supersede brand loyalty. 89% of dads will switch brands based on receiving a discount notification via a mobile device, vs. the 63% of all consumers who do so.

How do dads like to engage with brands? They are more likely to engage with brand assets like blog content, review sites and joining a branded community compared to all consumers.

Dads and Advertising

What is the best way to put the ad in dad? Let’s start by understanding how dads feel about the way they are portrayed in advertising.

Most dads don’t relate to how they are portrayed in ads and media. 74% of millennial dads think marketers are out of touch with modern family dynamics and 38% of dads think that advertising doesn’t accurately portray their role as a parent.

Some ads play up the doofus dad angle—he can’t perform certain household chores correctly, has made a mess or is incompetent in other ways. But this ad approach misses the mark-85% of dads said they know more than people give them credit for.

There is a disconnect between ad depictions of fatherhood vs. how dads feel:

Advertising depicts fatherhood is an afterthought or burden vs. dad reality check: 94% said fatherhood is extremely important and 75% said fatherhood is their most important job

Advertising shows uninvolved/barely involved fathers vs. dad reality check: dads spend an average of 7 hours per week caring for their children, which is up from the 2.5 hour average in 1965 & 61% of dads attended a school meeting within the past year and 57% of dads volunteered to help with a special school/project within the past year

Advertising shows fatherhood is important vs. dad reality check: fatherhood is important but also fun; 54% said fatherhood is rewarding all the time & 46% said it’s enjoyable all the time

Tech-Savvy Dads

Dads use technology. A lot.

Dads are more likely to adopt new technology, including smart TVs, fitness bands and smart watches. Dads of younger children (under 6) tend to use tablets more than dads of older children.

A large number of dads, especially Millennial dads, turn to technology to help with their parenting.

80% of dads visit YouTube to research parentings like assembling children’s products, preparing kid-friendly meals and helping their kids learn

59% of Millennial dads use their smartphones to search for parenting info

45% of Millennial dads said online search is a primary resource for parenting info

39% of Millennial dads visited a parenting website in the last month

20% visited a parenting blog

Social Media

Dads aren’t just tech-savvy. They are also social media savvy.

Dads are highly engaged with brands via social media channels—they are most likely read and share brand’s content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Further, 24% sought parenting advice from other parents on social media.

Dads also turn to a popular DIY social media platform to help them fulfill their parenting duties. About 40% of U.S. dads use Pinterest.

49% of dads plan playdates and other activities for their kids. There was a 450% increase in the number of dads looking for DIY projects to do with their kids from 2017 to 2018.

In addition to planning activities for their kids, dads reported that they make 1 out of 3 meals in their households. Dads are 1.2 times more likely to look for healthy recipes than male Pinners. They look for time-saving techniques and appliances like air fryers or Instant Pots.

Service Tags: 
Digital Solutions
Digital Coupons
Social Media Management
Marketing Strategy
Multi-Channel Campaign