The Future of Parenting – Brands meeting expectations

On the 29th of November OMDers and clients gathered at the Soho hotel to be the first to hear about our new and exciting piece of Future of Britain research that was carried out in partnership with Trinity Mirror.

The first section opened with the title ‘Brands are not meeting parents’ expectations’ and went into detail with how brands are struggling to empathise with parents.


This was quite a surprising statement and as the presentation went on we discovered that advertising tends to speak to men’s idealistic views of parenting:

After viewing several ads that were great examples of how the above is accurate and although nothing is currently being done to tackle this, it’s a great insight into how brands can begin to shape their approach to have material that applies to both men and women of all ages.

Next was how advertisers aren’t doing enough to represent those outside of London. This wasn’t as surprising as there tends to be a London bubble in a lot of the research carried out:

Almost half (46%) of those that live in London feel the advertising represents their experience of parenthood vs the significantly lower (14%) outside.

All this means that overall, brands are not meeting parents’ expectations. There are large gaps between what parents want from an ideal parent-friendly brand what they think brands actually deliver. Based on an average of 20 leading brands, brands fall short against a number of important attributes, including being trustworthy, genuine and understanding of family life.

Brands are therefore not perceived to be reflecting the realities of modern parenting: although 40% of people we asked said understanding their family is an essential role of a brand, just 12% associated this trait with brands we questioned them on.

Advertising needs to better reflect the experiences of parents and move away from a male, London-centric view of parenthood.

Next week we’ll touch on how parents feel as if they’re under immense pressure to be the ‘perfect’ parent but if you can#t wait until then, download the white paper here.


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