Ads See Dad as Domestic Diva

Gender roles are changing and marketers of household and domestic products are beginning to target men

Traditionally, brands looking to sell domestic items, such as breakfast cereal or carpet stain protection, focused on the undisputed purchasing chief of the household: Mom. But gender roles are changing — at least in some advertising campaigns, where dear ol' Dad stars as domestic deity. The message is that today's man appears to be more involved in his home life, reflecting a slow-but-steady rise in purchasing power.

"Until recently, fathers were largely an untapped market," says Vincent DiCaro, spokesman for the National Fatherhood Initiative, a non-profit organization that bestows yearly awards to brands using positive depictions of fatherhood in their ad campaigns. "When it comes to household purchasing decisions, corporations seem to be realizing that men are a lot more involved than they were 20 years ago."

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