By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

Lessons on reaching new target consumers.

First, we obviously love moms.  We all have one, some of you are married to one, I am one.  Marketers love them because they influence 85% of all purchase decisions and they trip over each other in an attempt to attract these dollars.  P&G tapped into this collective mom-love with the “Thank You Moms” ads run during the last Olympics.  Yeah, sure it makes us solemnly nod at the sacrifices mothers make for their kids.  But (yawn) show me something new.  So we say….

Hurray for Dads!

Today’s dads are way more involved in raising their kids and family decisions than previous generations.  An article in the current Toronto Life magazine surprised many with the stats on the rising trend of stay-at-home dads in Canada (we have a higher percentage than in the US and the UK).

But the reality is Dads are often ignored by marketers or portrayed as hapless dopes incapable of changing a diaper.  In a remarkable feat of ignorance Huggies managed to insult an entire population of fathers with their “Dad Test” TV and Facebook campaign.  They should have watched the documentary on Dads produced by The Sound, a qualitative market research company in Canada (and globally).  Click here to see the trailer portraying a side of fatherhood we often forget.

The lesson is simple.  Sure, go after your volume target, but keep an eye out for a new trend, behavior, consumer to tap into.  But, like Huggies, never assume you know them; clearly leveraging stereotypes is dangerous.  Get to know them, appreciate them and celebrate them.