I walked over-encumbered, bags slung over both shoulders, into the lobby of the Park Central San Francisco Hotel. I’d been driving all day, and frankly, wasn’t in the mood to talk about men, fathers and families. I wasn’t ready to talk about dads in the workplace. I was ready to lay on a bed and zone out.
Then I saw fellow blogger, friend and my cohost for Nerds, Geeks, Dads, Art Eddy. I’d known him for four years and only met him face-to-face once in New York for a 2012 roundtable on fatherhood with former NFL quarterback, Doug Flutie. I remembered how great it was meeting other bloggers on that trip. How, despite the fact that a former pro quarterback stood among us, we formed circles and talked to the other bloggers – our real role models – a bunch of dads whose successes aren’t counted in touchdowns, but in hugs and kisses from our kids.
Flashforward to Friday night of the Dad 2.0 Summit, where Art Eddy, Ryan E. Hamilton, Patrick Quinn (Life of Dad), Jeff Bogle (Out With the Kids), Chris Routly (Daddy Doctrines), Lorne Jaffe (Raising Sienna) and I trounced each other in Mortal Kombat running on a laptop hooked up to the hotel room TV.
It’s fairly safe to say that my first Dad 2.0 Summit was kind of a big deal for me.
I’ve been calling out dad-bias in commercials for years now, and really wanted to put the nail in the coffin. So I watched, noted and rated 140 commercials in 2013 that featured fathers as main characters. And if I was looking for a fight…man, I couldn’t have done it at a worse time. There, I said it.
A popular conversation among dad bloggers is the treatment of fathers in the media, specifically, dads in commercials. Dad bloggers often sit around in their secret online societies and discuss exactly how bad dads look in commercials. Most of the time, you’ll hear a resounding “fathers are made to look like idiots!” And being a guy who’s flamed many a brand that poked fun at dads (and also congratulated a couple), I wanted to really commit time and effort into seeing exactly how many commercials I could find that treated dads poorly. I really wanted to hold up my list of commercials to the world and say “SEE?! Look at how commercials treat dads! We should riot!”
And then my results actually surprised me.
Managing Editor of PRWeek US Gideon Fidelzeid knows how to throw a party. He invited a bunch of industry leaders (I love that term) to New York to discuss how marketing to parents is evolving. One of the participants was Dad 2.0 Summit co-founder, Doug French.
Among the topics were brand loyalty, brand relationships, differences in parenting styles, micro-targeting to demographics, and more. For those interested in marketing and parents, this is an enlightening read.
Over the weekend, what was the only real major-media coverage of the Dad 2.0 Summit emerged in The New York Times in a piece about how fathers are seeking better ads aimed at them. The Dad 2.0 Summit, which took place the first weekend of February, gathered in Houston, Texas to talk about the image of dads in the media. And while some things will never change, show organizers see PR companies and marketing agencies eager to get to fathers as a demographic.
It’s interesting to note that of all of the recaps of the Dad 2.0 Summit and the discussions of its importance, no large media outlets touched on it (unless we missed it, which is always possible). It took a month for this NYT piece to come out.
Our buddies Clay and Brad at DadLabs have created a video to let you know what’s in store for the Dad 2.013 Summit happening this weekend in Houston, Texas.
In it, they talk to Doug French and Dan Pacini, the co-creators of the Dad 2.0 Summit, as well as discussing current and previous sponsors, panels and attendees.
We’ve talked about NFL dads before and even got to ask questions of one (check it after the jump), but this week brought two more NFL players highlighting the importance and impact of fatherhood.
Both Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis and Green Bay Packers’ Greg Jennings mentioned fatherhood this week. We even got a little ‘tude from Jennings when someone calls him “Mr. Mom.”
The Dad 2.013 Summit is fast approaching, and yesterday, the organization announced speakers for the event. They also put out a call for nominees for the “Dad Blogger Spotlight.”
Set for the weekend of January 31st, the Dad 2.013 Summit invites marketers, social media experts, brand representatives and parents to discuss the changing landscape of fatherhood, from voice to perception.