Future of Parenting: How to successfully target parents?

Welcome to the last of our blog posts on our Future of Parenting research!

After talking about the changing nature of parenthood and how families are now much more fluid and complex then they used to be in both their shape and their dynamics, we saw that brands are falling short when it comes to meeting parents’ expectations due to their portrayal of a perfect and stereotypical family.

We then touched on the pressure that parents experience and how this is an even stronger truth when it comes to mums and how this could be due to the mental load they experience. This is especially true when it comes to sharing chores between both mums and dads.

On top of this research, we would like to share with you how these findings can help you connect with this highly valuable audience more effectively.

We found that the world of parenting is more diverse and less homogenous than ever before. This means that comms should ensure they reflect this diversity by targeting a wider parenting audience than just ‘housewives with kids’. McCain does this brilliantly in their ‘We are family’ campaign where they show how being a family can take a wide array of colours, shapes, numbers or even meanings.

We also saw that parents don’t feel well portrayed in advertising as they feel there is a lack of empathy and understanding. This means we should rigorously invest our audiences to help us understand parents better and portray them in a fairer way. Ikea understood this well as they based their Spanish advert on a hard to hear parenting truth.

We’ve then found out that parents place themselves under a lot of pressure and judge themselves harshly when it comes to their own emotional abilities. Therefore, brands should support parents by relieving pressure and endorsing parenting success. A good example of this is P&G’s ‘Thank you mum’ campaign.

We touched on mum and dad’s involvement on the day-to-day household tasks and saw that despite a majority of parents agreeing that tasks should be shared, mums are still carrying most of the mental load and doing much more than dads. This is why brands need to be careful about balancing a realistic portrayal of what is happening in households without being patronising. This balance has been achieved with great success in the McDonald’s Christmas campaign.

Finally, we have seen that there is an increase in the involvement of dads when it comes to child-related tasks but that doesn’t mean the same story is seen when it comes to household tasks. This means that as marketers we need to reflect the truth of our audience(s). This is something Google understood well as they used their knowledge of technology’s role in modern parenting in their Google Home creative.

This concludes our Future of Parenting suite, we have a lot more data and insights on this audience that so many industries value so please feel free to email us on sarah.gale@omd.com if you’d like to know more.

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Romane Donat

With a limitless curiosity, Romane has a real passion for digging into people’s minds to understand the submerged part of the iceberg. All fresh and new to research, her main goal is to use her energy to get an answer to any question, even the ones not yet asked.

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