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Kind + Jugend asks:

24 Apr 2019

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Child-rearing is no longer just for mothers – fathers are also participating more fully in their children’s upbringing. Many manufacturers and the media have recognised this trend and are increasingly tailoring their marketing activities to fathers. What does this new “Super Dad” look like? Which social developments encourage this trend? Trend researcher Axel Dammler from iconkids & youth answers these and other questions.

The division of roles within the family is changing – fathers are becoming much more actively involved in raising their offspring. What is driving this social trend, especially right now?

Role models are changing, especially because mothers have more demands and expect fathers to be more engaged in raising the children and everyday family life. Also, a greater number of companies are realising that promoting more family-friendly structures can help in the competition for the best talent.

Manufacturers and the media have jumped on this bandwagon very quickly and are creating new role models – the buzzword here is “dadvertising”. What does this all mean and how is this marketing trend playing out?

Advertising is one step ahead of reality because most fathers are not as active as they are portrayed. And most purchase decisions for the child are still made by the mother. But fathers are definitely catching up fast.

Are there products already being made especially for fathers that did not exist in this form before?

I still have not noticed any really new products. It is more about getting fathers more involved in the purchasing process. However, one can see that product design today is less stereotypical in terms of colours and patterns – and that is not only appealing to “new mothers” but “new fathers” as well.

What do manufacturers have to keep in mind with regard to the particular requirements and wishes of fathers?

Men still often struggle somewhat with their new roles and are not always sure that all this is socially accepted. Maintaining a sense of humour helps to look at the new situation from a lighter perspective. It’s not so much about the “Super Dad” but about navigating everyday life with confidence and fun. At the same time, fathers want to be taken seriously and not perceived as an appendage of the mother.