Thursday, August 14, 2008

AdWeek Asks Why Marketers Are *Still* Ignoring Guys

If there is only one article you read this year about the changing face of masculinity (and, to a lesser extent, fatherhood), make it AdWeek's brilliant "Man of the House," which pulls together a mountain of statistics that suggest that were doing more of the cooking, cleaning and childrearing than ever before. Here are some of the best stats from the piece:
  • "The portion of housework done by men in couples has doubled, with men who once performed 15 percent of the housework now doing 30 percent"
  • "Men have also tripled the amount of childcare they do since the 1960s"
  • "more men than ever are preparing dinner -- 18 percent of dinners in 2007, compared to 14 percent in 2003" (I know, 18 percent isn't a huge number. But a 30 percent rise in 4 years is amazing.)
  • "A BIGresearch survey in June that asked consumers what products they buy at least once a month found men trailing only slightly behind women in a number of categories, including household cleaning products (54 percent vs. 56 percent, respectively), dairy products including milk (88 percent vs. 93 percent) and baby products (13 percent vs. 14 percent); for laundry products, men tied women, with 53 percent."
  • "A study for Edelman conducted by StrategyOne, "Pride in My Home: A Perspective From Today's Men," found that among men who live alone or in a couple (opposite- or same-sex), 76 percent reported being primarily or partly responsible for buying groceries, and 63 percent reported being primarily or partly responsible for purchasing both cleaning products and laundry supplies."
But the big question still goes unanswered, despite heaps of reporting: why are guys still more or less ignored by Madison Avenue? There are no satisfying answers. My hope is that the slick New York hotshots who drive the advertising business are just a few years behind the time, and that we're on the verge of being demographic darlings.

(Greg Allen from -- who has some great quotes in the piece -- warns that we should all enjoy our anonymity while it lasts. Being ignored might be better than being defined by the advertising industry.)


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