Y&R Unveils “Who’s Your Daddy,” A Comprehensive Study on the Changing Role of Modern Dads in North America

New Report Explores Dads’ Shopping Behaviors and Preferred Brands, Finds Millennials are Redefining Fatherhood

NEW YORK & TORONTO--()--Y&R is releasing “Who’s Your Daddy,” the most comprehensive study on dads in North America. In examining the spending habits, preferred brands, attitudes, values and behaviors of dads, “Who’s Your Daddy” highlights the underserved role dads play in North American households. The study also takes a special look at millennials, poised to be the largest group of dads in the coming years, who are redefining fatherhood with their hands-on, egalitarian approach to parenting.

Key findings of “Who’s Your Daddy” include:

  • Dads are Spenders: Dads are considerably less frugal than moms, with a third (33%) of dads trying to buy products on sale, versus 52% of moms. In fact, 59% of dads feel that using coupons makes them look cheap, compared to 37% of moms (and 49% of childfree men). Dads are also twice as likely as moms to buy the brands they believe are best, regardless of price (28% versus 13%). And the proof is in the retail sales. -- Dads spent more than moms on back-to-school shopping by an average of nearly $250 US dollars in 2014.
  • DILFs vs. #dadbods – The Rise of Sexy Daddy: The era of the beer-bellied, couch potato dad is over; today’s dads prioritize their physical well-being and appearance. Dads name sexuality (#6) and confidence (#10) among their top values, whereas these don’t crack the top 10 for men without children. Dads tend to shop the beauty aisle similarly to women without children, with 54% of dads and 51% of single women regularly looking for innovation in personal care products, compared to 45% of moms and 35% of men.
  • Millennial Dads: The most hands-on segment of fathers, millennial dads are leading the way in terms of shared parenting tasks. A whopping 80% of millennial dads claim primary or shared grocery shopping responsibility, compared to 45% of all dads. Nearly half (49%) of millennial dads are mainly responsible for planning play dates and other activities with their kids outside the home, as opposed to 23% of dads age 35 and over.

“Dads represent a massive untapped market for all sorts of household products and consumer packaged goods -- from diapers to college dorm supplies -- and they are largely overlooked by most brands. Just as more moms are continuing to embrace the duality of work and kids, dads, too, are playing a bigger role at home, helping with everything from grocery shopping to cooking to play dates,” said Sandy Thompson, Global Planning Director, Y&R. “Unfortunately many marketers, while recognizing the shift, are portraying these dads incorrectly. We see a real business opportunity for marketers who embrace dads as the hands-on family decision-makers they are while at the same time maintaining their masculinity.”

“Who’s Your Daddy” also applies BrandAsset® Valuator (BAV), Y&R’s proprietary global database of consumer perceptions of brands, to determine which brands have the best pricing power with dads. Based on four different characteristics - Worth Paying More For, Differentiation, Esteem and Top Preference – Y&R BAV has identified the following brands as the Top 10 Most Desired by Dads in the United States (in order, 1-10): Apple, UnderArmour, Nike, Netflix, iPad, Lexus, Lego, Levi’s, Kobalt (tools) and Harley-Davidson. Other brands that rank high on the list include Cheerios, Lowe’s, Coca-Cola, Google, Kraft, Dickies, Rolex and Oral-B.

“There is a dramatic shift in a man’s priorities when he becomes a dad, and he is actively looking for resources – from helpful blogs to changing tables in men’s restrooms -- to support him in this important role. While there is an abundance of support geared towards moms, there is not much available to dads, and they realize it,” said study author Kasi Bruno, SVP, Strategic Planning Director, Y&R Toronto. “Dads are actually more brand loyal than moms, so the brands that act first to meet the needs of dads will be rewarded with their continued purchases for years to come.”

“Who’s Your Daddy” contains data and insights compiled from Y&R’s global intelligence network, a curated, living collection of proprietary data and syndicated research reports, as well as a BrandSpark survey of 8,000 dads across the US and Canada. Y&R also applied insights from Labstore, Y&R’s retail and shopper marketing network, and used a qualitative research method called eXploring.

Additional information about “Who’s Your Daddy” is available at yr.com/dadstudy.

About Y&R

Y&R is one of the leading global marketing communications companies. It is made up of the iconic Y&R Advertising agency; VML, one of the most highly regarded and fastest-growing digital agencies in the world, and iconmobile, one of the premier mobile marketing companies.

Y&R’s largest agency, Y&R Advertising, has 189 offices in 93 countries around the world, with clients that include Bel Brands, Campbell’s Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, GAP, Telefonica and Xerox, among many others.

Y&R is part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).

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Y&R North America
Theresa Tepper, 212.210.3426

Release Summary

Y&R unveils “Who’s Your Daddy,” the most comprehensive study on dads in North America. It shines a light on the critical, underserved role dads play in North American households.


Y&R North America
Theresa Tepper, 212.210.3426