Recently, I heard a Meijer radio ad. The ad was mostly forgettable as most radio ads are but what made me remember this ad is in this day and age where unemployment continues to rise and domestic roles continue to evolve, that Meijer fell into the sterotypical role of assuming that the care of the children are the responsibilty of the moms.
The radio ad was for back to school shopping. At the end of the commerical, Meijer makes it clear that shopping for back to school supplies are the mom’s job.
According to the Washington Post in a 2007 report, it was estimated that about 159,000 -or 2.7% of the US stay at home population are dads. This statistic tripled from 10 years earlier. While 2.7% is really not a lot, it is big enough to take into consideration when creating an ad.
Being a male who has taken on much of the role of the traditional mom, I personally take offense to advertisers and brands that approve such ads that sterotype men and women into these traditional roles. Men are taking a larger role in the family business and not just as stay at home dads. Everything from grocery shopping to running domestic errands is now a shared service in today’s domestic operations.
What is surprising is that Meijer has had to dance over this topic before. Here are comments from a 2009 ad that was offensive to women. You would think that once you are called out on your insensitivity, you would take note and try to be appealing to everyone.
While it is true that Meijer’s over indexes toward females (113% female compared to 85% male) according to a Quantcast report dated 12/2/2010 – 5/30/2011, it doesn’t give the company a free pass to buy into the stereotype that men don’t shop for school supplies (or care for kids, or cook, or clean, or support their wives, etc).
So, how what does that mean for their brand?
You tell me.