Dadvertising: What you need to know to reach men and dads in your pet business advertising

You may have noticed recently that Dad's have at last become a worthwhile adverting proposition for products other than home improvement, power tools and beer.

Companies looking to target a wider range of demographics for product and service sales are increasingly targeting men and dads in their advertisements. Take recent advertisements such as Yoplait's GoGurt, as an example.

Times have changed and no longer can we say 'mom does all the shopping.' Companies have finally recognized that dad does a bit, as well, hence the birth of 'Dadvertising.'

With the changing demographic of the pet loving and pet purchasing audience, which I wrote about in my 'Top Pet Industry Trends for 2013' blog post, I've been thinking a lot about how the pet industry may be missing out on targeting new and upcoming audiences to broaden and begin to build a newer, and often missed, prospective purchasing demographic.

The first demographic we'll be discussing in our series of untapped markets is men, and the 'dads' of the household.

Is the pet industry missing out on dad as a target market?

In looking at Facebook demographics recently of many of the pet product and service Facebook pages I manage, the overwhelming audience is primarily women between the ages of 25-55. Not surprising as this is currently the primary purchasers of pet products.

Digging a little deeper I am seeing a very gradual increase in another demographic; males, primarily within the 45-54 age range, and secondarily in the 35-34 and 55-64 age ranges; consisting of approximately 17-19% of the entire audiences.

For years, a wide variety of companies from beer to cars have utilized dogs and other heartwarming messages to capture the hearts of potential purchasers. Are they utilizing these ads to appeal to men? Not necessarily; they are looking to expand their markets outside of the their usual demographic (men) and targeting their secondary demographic - women. Take Tide's early involvement in Nascar, as an example.

However it's very rare (and virtually non-existent) to see a man being targeted in a dog product/service related advertisement or commercial.

Who are the men that pet product and service companies can target?

According to a study by DB5 and Hunter, dads (and men) are more and more involved in household tasks and purchasing decisions.

In terms of having primary responsibility - 51% are responsible for grocery shopping, 41% are responsible for the laundry and 40% are responsible for the house cleaning.

In terms of being the primary decision maker: 60% are responsible for purchasing consumer packaged goods products, 55% for personal care products and 54% for home goods.

Dads (men) and moms shop differently:

  • Dads find shopping more personally enjoyable than moms. 
  • Dads are more likely to buy premium and branded products, as they are more brand conscious than moms. 
  • They are more influenced by research online. 8 in 10 dads will leverage online resources, such as review sites, retailer sites and even online ads, to learn about and decide on brands from “unconventional” categories.
And ads from traditional mom categories don’t 'speak' to dads and they are craving for them to improve:


It's the male who is responsible for the purchasing within the household for SAHD (stay at home dads) and currently older men who have more responsibility for purchasing within the household (men in the 50+ year old range).

Targeting men isn't easy, especially since the pet industry has been so ingrained in targeting baby boomer women. So caution is warranted in reaching this target intelligently, respectfully and effectively.

How do you target men in the pet industry? Generally speaking, let's take a look a some differences in speaking to men vs women as primary purchasers of pet products and services:

Women think of their pets as family members and enjoy the 'awwwww,' cute, heartwarming and cuddly moments. They want to be spoken to about how pet products and services will bring out that emotion in them. However...
  • Men  think of their pets as their best friends, enjoy the fun, relationship moments with them and want to be spoken to more directly and succinctly, and in a more factual way that will enhance that relationship with their pets.
  • Targeting men in pet related advertising needs to be well thought out, intelligent, direct, without gender preferences, smart, and respectful, without 'talking down' to the audience. Pet 'dads' want to be empowered.
Generally speaking (and without being too stereotypical) men who purchase pet products may be more active, enjoy time with their dogs in the outdoors and engaging in sports. But they also enjoy time hanging out together, watching the game, grilling in the backyard. And they may be stay at home dads with the primary responsibility of caring for pets in the family, as well as the kids.

Bottom Line:

As an untapped market in the pet industry, targeting men may be a worthwhile endeavor  in building brand loyalty for your pet products and services. However companies looking to tap into this target segment should consider adjusting the messaging of their ads by incorporating information that helps this new market intelligently make more informed decisions, and by speaking directly to this new audience.

For more information about how your pet business can target additional emerging markets, feel free to contact Pawsible Marketing to explore ideas and prospective plans to grow your pet business.

Photo courtesy of AfroDad on Flickr.

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1 comment:

  1. I have been noticing more and more men liking and commenting on my page. Thank you for giving me a way to talk to them; because it's definitely different than speaking to my female followers!

    Kimberly

    ReplyDelete

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