Disney moves away from dad stereotypes as audience attitudes shift
- Disney has vowed to drop its use of dad stereotypes and urges other brands to follow suit, according to a report published at The Drum. The move comes in response to a recent Disney study that found dads perceive a major disconnect in how they see themselves versus how they are portrayed in advertising and media.
- Alerted to the prevalence of dad stereotypes via audience trackers, Disney decided to conduct the study on how dads in the EMEA region have been impacted by changes to family and social dynamics. It found that dads were driven by their desire to bond with their children, and to protect, entertain and provide for them.
- The brand engaged with 160 dads in the U.K., Germany, Spain and Sweden for the research.
The news comes as more marketers and industry groups look to address gender stereotypes in content.
With the evolving American family, parents expect their realities to be reflected in media and advertising. This includes co-parenting, gender equality and family diversity, inducing LGBT families and parents who have children later in life.
A study by BabyCenter and YouGov found that 80% of parents appreciate seeing diverse families in advertisements, and millennial parents were most likely to purchase from brands that featured diverse families in their ads.
By more accurately portraying modern parenting, brands can earn the trust of parents, particularly millennial parents, and create brand loyalty among that coveted generation.
Brands have traditionally relied on moms as wielding the purchasing power, but the Disney study has revealed that dads are an under-tapped entry point. However, most dads think advertising misses the mark.
In a survey of 1,100 dads by Saatchi & Saatchi NY, 74% said advertisers and marketers are out of touch with modern family dynamics and the depictions don’t reflect their true roles within their families.
Some brands are getting their portrayals of dads right, embracing “dadvertising” and showing fathers as caregivers and role models. Dove Men+Care’s #RealDadMoments campaign and Cheerios’ #HowToDad have challenged the traditional way dads are represented.