Monthly Archives

March 2013

More Hispanic Men Shop for the Household

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While the Hispanic population is growing at a fast pace in the US, much of the focus has been on Latinas, neglecting an equally important Hispanic shopper…Hispanic men. According to research from Mintel, some 42% of Hispanic men and 55% of Hispanic dads are the primary decision maker for household purchases.


Three-quarters of Hispanic men shop for food items at a traditional grocery store, which is the leading destination among Hispanic men for food shopping. However Hispanic fathers are more likely to purchase groceries at mass merchandisers (71%) compared to Hispanic men without children (63%).


What’s more, in certain categories, Hispanic men are more brand loyal than Latinas and are often willing to pay a bit more for their preferred brand. Some 35% of Hispanic men think more expensive brands of laundry detergents are more effective than bargain brands – versus 31% of Hispanic women – and some 58% of them only shop at their favorite stores, as they are confident they will find the brands of merchandise they like there.


Despite their active role in the household, 66% of Hispanic men believe they are stereotyped by advertisers. “Hispanic men feel like they are misrepresented in the media. This means that marketers may be missing the mark with their advertising initiatives in both Spanish- and English-language media. By having greater sensitivity to Hispanic culture, stereotypes could be omitted from ads and a higher level of engagement could be reached,” say the Mintel researchers.

Men Revel in Game of Car Buying

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According to, women are more informed and levelheaded than men in the vehicle buying process. “Men tend to rely on what is assumed they know and what they believe they know,” said Sergio Stiberman of “When women approach car shopping, they believe in the importance of asking all the necessary questions, even if they think they might know the answers.”


Many men revel in the gamesmanship of car buying, whereas women just aren’t interested in this aspect. Women instead do more research and are considerably more pragmatic in their vehicle choices. They also tend to be more concerned about safety and reliability than about horsepower and acceleration,  with 95% of women listing safety performance as their biggest concern during the shopping process and 94% interested in the incident history of the car.


Men, on the other hand, rated driving performance as their top issue (83%) and engine performance second (75%). Men ranked aesthetics the third major issue (73%) compared to just 46% of women—with aesthetics dead last among women’s concerns when auto buying.


The style differences also are evident in purchasing history. Women favor vehicles such as SUVs, small compact crossovers and four-door sedans. Men are more apt to buy a truck and certainly have a higher preference for sports cars.

Dove Gives Guys a Break in New Ads

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Men frequently are depicted in advertising as silly, hapless or dumber than women. But Advertising Age reports Dove Men+Care hopes to turn that notion into a historical footnote with its “Real Moments” campaign. “We wanted something to show real men in real life,” said Rob Candelino, VP-skin-care marketing at Unilever. And what most men in Dove’s target say is, “First and foremost, I’m a dad.'” So Unilever’s new campaign will focus squarely on fatherhood.


“We hear from 73% of men that they’re falsely or inaccurately depicted in advertising,” said Mr. Candelino. He boils the common depictions of men into three categories: alpha males with chiseled abs driving high-powered sports cars, guys obsessed with winning the affections of women, or buffoon dads.


Certainly Unilever’s Axe has plenty of ads in category two, but that’s a different target of men 24 and under. Dove Men+Care targets men age 25 to 54 who’ve evolved beyond that. More of these men are taking on household duties and shopping, with half buying their own personal-care products and most of the rest influencing the purchases.


The Male Bond

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Male friendship is one of the great mysteries, and even those of us who depend on it can only struggle to say why. I once sat up half the night in the company of Christopher Hitchens at the Plaza Athénée in New York. We didn’t agree about a single thing. But the night was fantastic and memorable. Why? Christopher was good at male friendship and at provoking affection, a genius in the old art of fellowship and tapping the male psyche. Male friendship, he seemed to believe, or hope, was the answer to just about any of the problems that mattered to him.


My former girlfriend hated what happened when men got together late at night and drank whiskey. One night, after several grown men wept and then danced to the radio, she left the house in a rage and booked herself into Claridge’s. And if I’m desperately honest I have to say it was one of the best nights of my life. It certainly ruined our faith in each other forever, but it made perfect sense to me that, occasionally, a man has no choice but to consort with his own kind.


It’s not about the nagging wife. It’s about the nagging self. Men don’t really compare themselves with women, not even with those whom they love. We compare ourselves with other men, and we get bigger or smaller in our eyes depending on how well we can compete.


A male friend can’t ask you for anything at the end of the night. He can speak wise or dumb. He can agree or disagree. He can go that way or this way. It doesn’t matter. His job is to be who he is and witness who you are. When you consider old male friends (and co-stars) Paul Newman and Robert Redford, you don’t look for the joins and the similarities. You just see two guys. It might amount to a really great friendship, this coexisting sense of them having things in common but no obligations. And that is what we depend on with our best male friends: the unspokenness that guarantees the closeness, the ease that masks the fear. And every man fears being a failure. We do. That’s why we need great buddies to fail right by our side.


Excerpted from The Male Bond, New York Times Magazine, March 8, 2013


For Men, Love Equals More Beer

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A study from the University of Wollongong found men who feel love (i.e. emotional attachment) for their beer brands purchase 38% more beer than the average man.


Researchers found full-strength emotional attachment occurred for about 25% of consumers overall across a range of products, with lower attachment for utilitarian products like laundry detergent. But attachment’s impact on purchase patterns was the big finding; it was a better predictor of buying behavior than traditional measurements of brand attitude—such as rating a brand good or bad.


Study participants rated brands they purchased over 12 months in product categories involving utilitarian and hedonic products (e.g. instant coffee and beer). The ratings were then compared with amounts purchased and attachment emotions, if any, felt for each brand. Emotions included trust, bonding (it’s my brand), resonance (fits my self-image), companionship (like a companion to me) and love (would be really upset if I couldn’t have the brand).

Can Live Without Cars, Not Cell Phones

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Ask Millennials (ages 18-34) which piece of technology they could least live without, and it turns out they’d more happily part with their cars than their computers or cell phones according to Zipcar.


Some of the attitude shift results from the rise of on-demand mobility services such as car sharing and the high cost of car ownership for this age group. But money doesn’t explain everything. Sixteen to 34-year-olds in households with incomes of more than $70,000 per year are increasingly choosing not to drive as well, according to a separate study by the Frontier Group. From 2001 to 2009, Millennials increased their use of public transit by 100%, biking by 122%, and walking by 37%.

Magazines Might Be Bad for Men

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According to a new study in academic journal Sex Roles, Fortune, Wired and Field & Stream –magazines read mostly by men—contain large numbers of ads that may contribute to “hyper-masculinity” and lead to troubling behavior in young men. Other studies have linked hyper-masculinity with such problems as dangerous driving, drug use and violence towards women.


The researchers tracked advertising in eight magazines having primarily male audiences, scoring each ad on four components: 1) toughness, 2) violence, 3) dangerousness and 4) callous attitudes toward women and sex. The authors found hyper-masculine depictions in ads were common in all titles.


At least one of the four attributes was found in 56% of the total sample, although some titles were as high as 90% across multiple issues. Titles aimed at younger or less affluent readers were more likely to contain such ads; Game Informer, Playboy and Maxim had the most of these ads; Fortune and Golf Digest had the least.

What Teens Do Online

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A study by ResearchNow with persons 12 – 17 years old from the US, Poland, Germany and the UK finds teenagers in all four markets enjoy unlimited and unsupervised access to the internet. Over 60% go online every single day and 46% several times a day. Age does not make a big difference when comparing the amount of time teens spend on the net; for example, there is no sudden explosion in internet use at the age of 16 but rather a gradual increase in the amount of time spent online as children age.


The top reason why teens go online, cited by 92% of respondents, is ‘looking up things I don’t know.’ Other top activities are: finding out about events and what’s happening (83%); researching public transport and things they would like to buy (74%); and playing games (73%). Only 35% of teens say they actually purchase items online.


Don’t Call Him Mom…or an Imbecile

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The hapless, bumbling father is a stock character in product marketing. He makes breakfast for dinner and is incapable of handling, or sometimes even noticing, a soggy diaper. He tries desperately to hide the crumb-strewn, dirt-streaked evidence of his poor parenting before the mother gets home.


This is an image that many fathers who attended the Dad 2.0 Summit — a meeting of so-called daddy bloggers and the marketers who want to reach them — have come to revile. They are proud to be involved in domestic life and do not want to serve as the comic foil to the supercompetent mother.


In the past, consumer-product marketers weren’t all that concerned with what fathers thought — women, after all, make the majority of purchasing decisions for households. But men are catching up: In 2012 men spent an average of $36.26 at the grocery store per trip, compared with $27.49 in 2004, according to data from Nielsen. So there is big money to be made, both by companies looking at fathers as consumers and by daddy bloggers looking to ride a wave of brand sponsorship just as mommy bloggers have.


One of the biggest laments at this year’s Summit was that many marketers continue to portray fathers as babbling buffoons who need constant supervision. “Dads are seen as heroes as long as their kids don’t drown in the swimming pool,” says Mr. French, who has a blog called Laid-Off Dad. Last year, the daddy blogosphere erupted when Huggies released a commercial that showed a group of fathers and their babies, with a voice-over that said, “To prove Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything, we put them to the toughest test imaginable: Dads, alone with their babies, in one house, for five days.”


Daddy bloggers led by Chris Routly, who blogs at The Daddy Doctrines, started a petition calling on Huggies to pull the ad. The petition on drew 1,300 signatures, but Mr. Routly closed it after a Huggies representative called him to solicit advice about making the company’s marketing more acceptable to fathers.


Some daddy bloggers also grumbled over a 2011 ad for Tide detergent that showed a stay-at-home father folding laundry and referred to him as a “dad-mom.” The National At-Home Dad Network, a nonprofit group, puts it this way in its literature: “Dads do not parent like Mom, nor are a replacement for her when she’s not home.”


Matthew Willcox, executive director of the Institute of Decision Making in San Francisco, studies how neuroscience and behavioral economics relate to marketing. He suggests that companies and advertisers need to be very aware of the societal shift around parenting. “It’s not a question of applying the same rules that apply to moms,” he says.


Excerpted from The New York Times, February 25, 2013

Dads Put Masculine Stamp on Childrearing

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The Wall Street Journal reports stay-at-home dads aren’t trying to replace moms, per a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Instead they take pride in letting their children take more risks on the playground and tend to jettison daily routines in favor of spontaneous adventures with the kids. And many use technology or DIY skills to squeeze household budgets or find shortcuts through projects and chores.


At-home fathers are increasing, but their numbers are still small; the Census Bureau counted 189,000 last year, up 78% from a decade ago. But men still comprise only 3.6% of all at-home parents, fostering a sense of isolation for some. One father in the study lamented that when he took his kids to public parks, “moms would talk over me as if I was not even there.”