August 8, 2011
by Shawn Bean
© Courtesy of Popchips
We have skin that needs moisturizing. We also spill condiments on our shirts and require a stain remover. But you’d never know this by looking at television commercials or magazine ads, where all you see are moms.
Dads are losing gigs to lizards and cavemen. That’s just sad. So I’ve decided to become a product pitchman, and show everybody the purchasing power of the modern pop.
Since my blog (and column in Parenting and Babytalk) is titled Pop Culture, I figured the best course of action was to target a product with “pop” in the name. I contacted Popchips, a fantastically tasty snack best described as “un-fried” potato chips, and Pop Rocks, the candy that turns your mouth into a crackling cauldron of neon sweetness. After whitening my teeth and oiling my six-pack, I sent both companies an e-mail offering my services as spokesman.
Lara, Popchips’s director of public relations, sent a tremendously friendly reply. “I am so thrilled that you have discovered Popchips,” Lara wrote, adding that she wants to talk about potential opportunities. She signed off, “Keep poppin’.” The Pop Rocks rep was equally excited: “Pop Rocks equals Pop Culture…we’d love to work with you!”
It’s time Madison Avenue realized that moms aren’t the only ones wielding the family debit card. A recent study from Yahoo! shows that more than 50 percent of dads do the grocery shopping, and 40 percent handle the laundry. We’re also more likely than moms to buy premium products. Why do we prefer that stuff? “Because dads equate expensive with best for the family,” says Edwin Wong, Yahoo!’s director of research. Big spender, considerate of what’s best for his household: sounds like an awesome demographic.
So why the dearth of dad-vertising, people? One word: fear. We flock to see sequels to blockbusters and remakes of old classics. We love a sure thing, and Dad still needs to prove himself. Decades of Mom doing the heavy lifting at home has left Dad looking aloof and unmotivated. The only way to revamp our image is to do more, help more. Of course, we’ll need cars, food, and cleaning products for all that doing and helping. See where this is headed?
I’m doing my part by becoming a spokes-dad. Can’t you picture me in a bathtub, covered in (insert your product here)? I can hear those debit cards swiping already.