According to “research” released today, a large proportion of fathers pretend to be asleep when their child cries during the night. To summarise what is essentially a press release for a nappy company, dads are arse holes who leave the serious stuff to mum.
Let me caveat this post by saying that, as a marketer myself, I understand the reason brands put out “research” – it gets them free “news” coverage when normally they’d be relegated to the advertising section.
I’ve read some amazing and some awful pieces of research in my time – the only thing you need to realise when trying to spot these pieces in the newspaper is that the brand who commissions the research usually has the result in mind when commissioning it, and simply asks questions that get them to that result.
So basically, the nappy brand who released this research (I’m not going to deign to name them, since you can find out in the link above) almost certainly knew they were heading towards this “dads are lazy bastard” angle when they put the research together. Which I find to be pretty darn shitty.
Brands who choose to utilise or strengthen the “dads are lazy buffoons” cliche are, ironically, the laziest marketers out there. Whilst I’m not foolish (or brave) enough to suggest mums and dads are always equal in parenting, using the lazy dads cliche isn’t helping anyone – especially the good dads who are trying to improve the image of fathers by example.
Whilst a lot of brands still choose to target their marketing more towards mothers, I accept that this is usually for very sensible reasons – especially in areas where mum is usually the primary decision maker.
But painting dads as lazy and incompetent is insulting, hackneyed and offensive – and it sets us back about 15 years.
I for one shall be cutting said brand off my shopping list, and I hope other fathers will join me.