Friday, December 10, 2010

Australia Has a Message for Us

Those Aussies have done it again. An Australian TV spot has used graphic violence to get a point across. They crossed a line you would never see even approached by U.S. broadcasters. They created something that of course went viral. You don't see something like this every day, so you have an urge to show someone else. Why is this kind of shock value okay?

Because it's not about selling something. It's about life and death.



Please don't drink and drive this holiday season. Or ever.

No matter what country you live in.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Funny Friday

I returned home last night from a three-day conference in Chicago (more on that later) to this:

"Knock knock."

"Who's there?"

"FUNNY JOKE!!!!"

...And boy, it was.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feedy Fast

Going "feedy" fast on the "bump" cars? Oh, yeah. More of that, please!
(And also perhaps a little more practice with Reid on the "sp" part of "speedy...")


...but in the meantime? "Feedy" fast is kind of adorable.
Just like their too "feedy" fast childhood.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Are you better than Target?

I am not crafty. I aspire to be more into mommy/son art projects, but I have two hurdles: 1) kids who aren't much into coloring (which of course triggers the 'red flag' area of my paranoid psyche) and 2) this ongoing battle with Father Time who keeps telling me he won't add even one minute to my day. 24 hours?! Pffsh. Please. (P.S. Next election, I'm voting for Mother Time, who would clearly understand my needs.)

But I digress. Today, this article floated across my desk. You may (or may not) be surprised to know this kind of controversy is not an anomoly in our industry. Moms are always getting pissed about ads (hey, me included!). But the criteria for the crankiness is all over the map. More than once the trigger point has been about a mom's attempt to make something for her child, which (according to the ad) completely displeased the child, and made mom look like a fool. Or at least out of touch with her child.

Shall I remind you that ads exist to make you want to buy something to make yourself better/happier/prettier/smarter/ -er/ -er/...?

Today's "crassly offensive" case in point: Target.



If I had a little more time and creativity enabling my own handiwork, I might be miffed by this. After all, I don't want a major corporation telling me my loving, hand-made efforts for my child are useless.

At the same time, I think this spot could have saved itself from controversy with a very simple acting shift. If the mom had a different air about her - maybe if she didn't look so proud of her apparently inadequate creation but rather gave her son a look that said, "Dude, what is happening here? Grab my purse, we're headed to Target to remedy this," then the brand would put itself on mom's side rather than taking the superior-to-mom path of putting us all down and implying that in order to best show our children love, we must buy, buy, buy. All without compromising either the sale or the mother/son relationship.

Who doesn't want or need a teammate in motherhood? Come on, Target, be a team player.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wishing this was a joke...

...but it's actually an advertorial (a paid advertisement that is presented to look like an editorial article). The text instructs women to ask for a raise by following simple steps, starting with step No. 1: "showering with Summer's Eve Femine Wash or throwing a packet of Summer's Eve Feminine Cleansing Cloths into your bag for a quick freshness pick-me-up during the day."

(Because who doesn't associate feminine hygeine with getting that much-deserved raise or promotion? Surely your boss does?)

While I don't know who created this placement (or who reviewed and approved it), fingers on Facebook are being pointed at men. It doesn't really matter which gender is actually to blame. Someone simply missed the mark. Which begs the question of the day: is it really that hard to hit?


Is this offensive to you?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The natives have their own language

A new study published last week by Why Moms Rule (oh yes, we do) and picked up by eMarketer showed that Gen Y moms, who are currently in their 20s, communicate more often with the people in their households via digital means than they do in person.

Incoming text from Mom: "I'm in the kitchen cleaning up dinner plates and finishing work on my laptop so will you please get the kids in the bath?"

Huh?

We already know moms in general are 20% more digital than women without children. Let's face it - digital is the enabler to mom's multi-tasking, multi-minding lifestyle.

But this study shows that it's not simply a matter of adding digital communication to in-person exchanges, but that digtial may actually be overtaking the in-person communication for this particular mom segment. (You know, like talking. With your mouth. And perhaps, eye contact, facial expressions and hand gestures.)

Younger moms, who are considered "native" social media users and can't remember not having email, are using digital platforms to not only keep up socially with Facebook friends, peer blogger moms and Twitter followers, but now they're conversing with their own family members more via electronic devices (52%) than face to face (48%).

It's happening. Moms are slowly morphing into robots and taking over the world. Social media is turning young moms into mombots! Hide your children!

As Gen Y moms progress through the stages of motherhood, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues to gain speed and their gap between in-person communication and digital communication widens.

Does this surprise you?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Little Bits of Awesome

"Mommy, when I grow up I'll be a mommy and make eggs like you," my baby boy declared, sitting on the counter watching me mix together our breakfast concoction.

"But what if you grow up and become a daddy?" I posed.

"No, I want to be a mommy, like you, because I love you."

Yeah, that.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Scraping the Barrel

A couple forkfulls of cottage cheese. (I refuse to eat cottage cheese with a spoon.)

Some reheated restaurant fries from a few nights earlier.

A few bites of reheated mac 'n cheese off the Hawklets plates.

A bowl full of Brussels sprouts. Oh yes, a whole bowl full.

The rest of the halved grilled cheese (leftover from said restaurant) kids' meal that Reid couldn't/didn't want to finish.

All that? Oh, just my dinner a couple nights ago. At which time it glaringly obvious this mama has been working too much. Mom guilt in tow, I drug my bag of bones to the grocery store after that Top Chef dinner and like a zombie, walked the aisles tossing a little off this and some of that into a cart. And then - the crown on top of this perfectly imperfect mom moment - I walked out with my bags and had no idea where I had parked. I literally had to stop myself in front of the store and scan the lot, no idea even which direction I should head in.

But our fridge is not bare and our children are happy!

And that work part? Well, I'm working on it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A million

"I am a million sad to leave the beach," he said when we were packing the car,
headed to the airport with sand in our shoes and shells in a baggie.
I told my little man that I was, too.
But pictures like this one - my favorite boys in one of my favorite places - will keep me a million happy until next year's trip.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let me Tell you about the Show

I learned something this morning in the Pre-K class by accident. Or osmosis. Actually it was eavesdropping.

Every Friday. EVERY. FRIDAY. Is show-and-tell day.

I learned this by overhearing Graham's teacher ask another kid if she had something in her backpack for show and tell. The only things in Graham's backpack were lunch and a just-in-case change of clothes.

So bizarre that I didn't get the memo in the FIVE HUNDRED various pieces of paper we've received from the school over the course of the first few weeks. I read it all. Even the stuff that had absolutely no relevancy to the pre-Ks at all. Did it say anywhere anything about show and tell? No. Did it say anywhere anything about what the key code combination is for the pre-school door? Nope. Did it provide a parental outline the curriculum or objectives or strategies for what my child will be learning this year? Nah. Did it outline the hot lunch menu for the K-8th graders that indicated only two days of the month would be healthy lunch days? Well, yes.

Thisschoolhasagreatreputation.Greatreputation.Greatreputation.Greatreputation.Greatreputation.

Never mind the clear lack of communication skills on the school's part. And the disorganization around getting simple messages to parents. What I am most frustrated with is not that I did not know that Fridays are show and tell days. It's that EVERY FRIDAY IS SHOW-AND-TELL DAY.

Yes, I am a marketer. I have built a very meaningful career around getting people, mostly moms, to buy my clients' products. I love doing this. I am fascinated with the psychology of the consumer - most particularly moms and the power they (we) wield, and what they buy on behalf the household, including their children. I soak up data about why they are buying, where they are buying, and how they communicate with each other about those purchases. Those toys - the ones that my son's classmates brought today for show and tell? Somewhere out there, a marketer's objectives were assisted by the purchases of these toys.

Yes, I am a fan of American consumerism! I study and practice this art daily! I make a living on consumerism and I personally contribute part of that living to the American economy!

But my 4-year-old? I want to protect him from the want of things. My stomach turns with the idea that today at school he might think someone is better because they have a particular monster truck. Or the bigger Buzz Lightyear. Or this thing or that thing that he doesn't have. Things. To have. Or have not.

Who cares? My problem with this is that he doesn't know enough to not care. He cares. He loves toys. He is four. Jealousy? Materialism? These are unwelcome attributes in our house. But today at my son's school, they may be lurking. They may be hiding in the shadows of the classroom, just waiting for the opportunity to make themselves at home in his heart. The opportunity that may come at show-and-tell time. I can't stand the thought.

Why is show and tell still okay? Where is the teachable moment in this activity? I posed the question to the experts on Twitter. You know - the place where the experts congregate! @eCelebrating was optimistic with this response: "no idea. best bets: sharing, storytelling, taking turns, paying attention, learning about new items. ???"

I agree with the question marks. In my opinion, show and tell fosters unnecessary materialism in our youth. Four-year-olds don't need to learn public speaking by showing off their favorite toys and feeling badly that 'Johnny has this but I don't.' They need us to remind them about what really matters. Thoughts, not things. People, not products. Yes, this from a marketer.

I believe show and tell has no place in an educational class room.

What do you believe?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emergency Hand Washing (alternately titled: Being a Mom of Boys)

I was standing in the kitchen, chopping tomatoes to make guacamole. Suddenly, I heard little sneakers pounding the hardwoods, originating at the back door and running toward me.

"Mom! Mom! Come quick! Something fell out of the sky and it has blood on it!"

Oh geez. There is animal blood involved in this equation right off the bat. Suddenly the red fleshy wet tomatoes in my hands made my stomach turn.

"Is it a bird?" I asked with a mix of hesitation and bravery. Trying to fool my boys into thinking that of course their mom is not afraid of a dead animal. Of course.

"Yes, it's something that can fly because it fell out of the sky!"

My 4-year-old is exhibiting too much excitement about this bloody flying object in the back yard.

We took off toward the grass. Little Brother was waiting for us there.

"Come on! It's over here! Wait, where is it? Reid, where is it?"

Oh, God. Is one of us about to step on it?

"Oh look it's right here!" A chipmunk. A (formerly) flying one? It had a huge gash at the neck, where insects had started to invade. Its eyes were open, fixated, perhaps, on Chipmunk Heaven.

My boys appeared to be ready for a science lesson. There was not one ounce of disgust on their parts, but rather awe. Perhaps pride even -- that they found this, and they were letting me in on it. Such good sharers. And at that moment it hit me.

"You didn't touch it... did you?" I managed, not allowing my eyes to wander over the red gash.

Graham studied my face. Then: "We didn't touch the bloody part."

My mind replayed this statement. We. Didn't. Touch. The. Bloody. Part. I grabbed their wrists, one in each hand. Flanking me, we bee-lined inside for the sink. The soap. The running water. "Don't touch anything! Just get some soap! Scrub every finger!" I squaked.

"But we only touched the back! We didn't touch the blood!"

"SCRUB!"

They scrubbed, dried, I exhaled and they went back to playing. I grabbed a shovel and flung the thing over the back fence. Like nothing had happened. What bloody flying chipmunk corpse? Nothing to see here! Keep moving!

But the tomatoes? They're going to have to wait a bit.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Boogying with the Best

I started running. And, yes, this is breaking news. The reactions I've seen from friends and colleagues have reinforced the fact that I needed to get off my lazy arse and take care of my heart. Running, I've found, is me time. I smell the trees and feel the fresh air and hardly even notice I'm sweating like a pig and my left big toe is numb. Or something like that.

Are you taking care of yourself, too? If you're looking for a new way to get in the game, as I was when I decided to give running a try, what about this gem? I think this woman could motivate a tree stump to get up and boogie. Uh-huh. Oh yeah. Feel the beat!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Five

“When I turn five,” you say, “I will go to a new school.”

“I will play tennis.”

“My feet will touch the floor when I sit down.”

“I will be a daddy!”

“When I turn five,” you say, “I will ride the Ferris wheel.”

“And, Reid will be four. When I am five.”


But also?


When you turn five, I will celebrate my fifth anniversary of being a mother.

I will realize that in 13 short years, you will be flying from this Hawks Nest.

I will know that I have done my best for you for five years, but promise to do even better, to work even harder at this most important job of mine – being your mother.

When you are five, I will wonder why time passes by so fast. I will laugh at the clich├ęs and embrace them. And curse time.

I will remember what it was like to see you, to hold you, for the first time. Probably most especially when I drop you off at Kindergarten on your first day there. And I will size your new teacher up and say a little prayer that she is the best, most qualified, accomplished and award-winning Kindergarten teacher in the whole world.

I will watch your unique personality continue to blossom and be so proud that you are your own person. I will hope I’ve had something to do with it. And I will realize that I’ll have that same hope for the rest of your life.

I will worry about whether you are getting enough nutrients, whether we’re too involved with technology and not enough with nature, whether we have you in the right amount of extracurricular activities.

I will look at you and marvel at how far we’ve come in these few years together.

I will love you with my whole heart. Just like I do today. Just like I will when you are 50.

When you are five.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Brother, My Friend

Reid didn't eat his dinner or follow directions really at all last night, so he didn't get to outside to play with Graham and Daddy after we cleared the dishes. His devastating cries accompanied by hot tears filling the rims of his glasses permeated my back as I stood at the sink rinsing ketchup off plates. I shut off the water, turned around and scooped him up, ignoring both his pleas for "Daaa-ddyyy!" and the crumbs begging to be swept off the kitchen floor. I carried my sobbing baby boy up to our bed and switched on the laptop - a workaholic's force of habit, yes, but also a good distraction that is not TV. Digital photos of my boys? Yes, that's the ticket. Reid and I flipped through jpg after jpg, reminiscing about when he was my baby in size, not just rank. And his tears dried easily.

"Go back to that one!" he would demand. "Look at me, Mommy!" pointing at the screen, and "What was I doing/wearing/eating?" He wanted to linger on the photos that included his bubby. And then I realized that the really devastating part of his punishment for not following directions was more about not getting to play with his brother than it was about not getting to go outside.


Those two are quite a pair.


I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There was a hula-hooper in the corner at Kids Eat Free Night

It was a clown. Need I say more? What happened to the good old-fashioned clown we used to know? The one that made children laugh and was all full of happiness and goofiness and carried around a bicycle horn and was not remotely odd or slightly scary or seemingly drug-induced? Yeah...that.

Let me explain...

Tonight we dined at Jason's Deli. Me loves a good salad bar so I can't ever resist Jason's Deli. And Wednesday is Kids Eat Free night -- an even better reason to patronize this lovely dinner establishment. Because let's face it, spening $5 on a plate of Kraft Mac & Cheese that I know costs $.99 at the grocery store and that I know will get a couple bites of attention from my 4-year-old is just annoying. But a free plate of Kraft Mac & Cheese that might get a couple bites? You had me at hello!

Tonight there was a special extra something at Jason's Deli for Kids Eat Free Night.

A she-clown.

With a hot pink tutu, hot pink thigh-high leggings, sparkles, blush and a pig-tails wig. And? Three hula-hoops. And PG-13 rated hula hooping abilities. She was "performing" in the corner at Jason's Deli. Sort of entranced in her own clownish hula-hooping world.

It felt so awkward. At one point she walked in the back room to get a chocolate chip cookie. She sauntered out munching on it and grinned at us. Then, back to her corner. I looked around at the kids in the room, some of whom were occasionally watching her, others not really noticing, a couple little girls wanted her to make them balloon flowers. I wondered, "What is going on here?" Clearly, nobody really cared.

Is it Stephen King's fault? The downfall of clowns everywhere? Being reduced to a clownish, fuschia-wearing, sparkly teeny-bopping, multiple hula-hooping "performer?"

After probably about 30 minutes, her gig was up. She walked out to the parking lot at the same time we did, chatting away on her cell phone. Her Blazer had a "Bang This" bumper sticker. She loaded the hoops in the back.

But hey, the Kids Ate Free.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Conversations with a 4-year-old

Hubby: "Stop licking the butter. Don't put your finger in the butter."

Him: "But I like butter!"

Hubby: "It's for the corn. It's not for you to lick."

Him: "I want to lick the butter! I like licking the butter!" ... (pause) ... Is the butter meltingIs it smallerWhy is it meltingWhy is it getting smallerWhy does it do thatWhy can't we eat itWhy can't we lick butter? Why? Why? WHY?

Me: (futile attempts at answers to each question)

Him: (as Hubby's back is to us, in his loud-whisper voice) Mom! Lick the butter! Quick! Don't tell Dad!

Me: "I don't want to li-"

Him: "LICK THE BUTTER!"

_______________________________________

Yes, folks, we are still solving the world's problems over here at the Hawks Nest. What's new with you?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How the drive-in reignited my love for Disney

When is the last time you saw a movie outside, from the back of your car, or bed of your truck, under a starry summer sky, the sound resonating from car speakers and maybe just a tad bit crackly?

It was Hubby’s idea. I was going to take Graham on a date to Toy Story 3. He’s been so, SO into Toy Story lately and didn’t even realize there was a third installment in movie theaters taking the country by storm. I felt like I was holding out on him, like holding a bouncy red ball over my head, too high for him to reach. But also? He didn’t even know there was a red bouncy ball out of his reach. To be fair, I just HAD to share it with him. And then Hubby discovered it was playing at the drive-in and suggested we make it a family affair.

“Yeah,” I said to Hubby, the light bulb slowly starting to glow in my mind as I tried to picture us at a d-r-i-v-e i-n . “Yeah, let’s go to the drive-in.”

Hubby and I reminisced about the old drive-in in our hometown. I remember being there in my pajamas, in the car, blankie in tow. I don’t remember the movie we saw from the comforts of the car, but rather just being there because it was different. It’s the “different” that we remember.

I think my kids will remember the “different,” too.

We popped popcorn at home first and put it in paper sacks. We filled up lidded cups. We packed peanut butter and crackers in baggies. The boys took baths and pulled on their pajamas. We loaded up the car and didn’t forget Buzz Lightyear and Jessie – so they could see themselves on the big screen under the stars. I grabbed their blankies. They didn’t care as much as I did about the blankie part. It just felt right.

The movie started “at dusk.” We weren’t sure exactly what time that was. There was some mystery to it all… who else a drive-in attracts these days, how exactly it all works once you get there (you park backwards, by the way, and open up the SUV hatch, sit on the back, pull out camping chairs and coolers – much more of a community experience than I remembered), how hot it might be and whether our car battery would die if we sat for two hours with the AC on (which we did not do).

They looked at the speaker-on-a-stick and asked if Woody was inside.

“Daddy, do you want a cold beer?” Reid asked in his loud voice during a quiet part.

“But that’s not HER cowboy, it’s HIS!!” Graham shrieked right at that heart-tugging part when Andy bestowed his beloved Cowboy Woody to the next generation of playmate.

Graham hopped down off the bumper and climbed up in my camping-chair lap to give me a big hug right at the point that Andy was playing with his pals for one. last. time. He’s not old enough to get emotional, but I think he knew there was something special about that part. Something… different. That boy has quite the intuition.

Did the drive-in reignite my love for Disney? Or did Disney re-ignite my love for the drive-in?

Maybe a little of both. It was different. It was awesome.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thinking like a 4-year-old

I've been a sparse blogger lately. But it's because I have so much to say. There is so much swirling in my mind that it has given me blogging paralysis and I can't possibly figure out where to start.

Leave it to Graham to remind me - in his unique way of always snapping me back to reality - about focus. He informed me out of the blue as we were driving around town recently that he has ideas in his mind. He told me that they don't just come to him - he goes looking for them and uncovers them inside his mind, where they are all there, waiting to be found. My 4-year-old explained how he thinks - actively, not passively. And then went on to ask me about the difference between his brain and his mind.

My 4-year-old.

I think I can do this. This focus thing. So I hope you will stay tuned.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Fantastic Mr. Hawks

I brag about him to my friends. About how I come home almost every day to dinner waiting. About how he tackles bath time. They tell me he needs to teach their husbands classes. They remind me how good I've got it.

He is the one who still gets up in the middle of the night. He picks up a snoring 3-year old, who crawled his way into our bed sometime around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., and deposits him back in his own bed.

He is the one for whom they call most often when they are sick or upset. Sure, they've been through their Daddy phases, but he gives them reasons to prolong the phases, and they blend into each other so much that I can't ever tell when the so-called phases are over.

He is the better playmate. He wrestles. He pitches. He's funny. He leaves the monotony of teeth brushing, doctor appointments and babysitters to me. Instead of monotony, he deals in fun.

Today the Hawklets and I ran errands and discussed Father's Day. I explained the significance - that this is a day for us to thank Daddy for being such a great father.

"But he really hasn't been such a great father," Graham said. (Excuse me? Are we talking about the same saint described above?) "He puts us in time out sometimes."

Oh, did I mention he is an efficient disciplinarian?

Happy Father's Day, Hubby Hawks. Thanks for being so brag-worthy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I've been busy...

Yes, I realize that I posted about having more time and then disappeared. Surprisingly (ahem), I found a way to fill that time. You see, I found a little hut on a beach where 'multi-tasking' doesn't have a Spanish translation and cool breezes blow and books that I choose beg to be read.





And the view out from the little hut looks like this:



And drinks are sipped from this little bar here:



So, Anonymous, now you know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

About Time

For the past five years, I have spent one night a week away from my family - rushing home from the office to gulp down a couple bites of something edible before rushing off to a class, and afterwards coming home to a sleeping house, wondering if my hawklets missed me and occasionally picking their dreaming bodies up out of bed to rock a bit. I have handed newborns over to Hubby with a bottle and left for hours at a time to pound the path of persistence.

For the past five years, I have spent a lot of my “free” time doing this:
Building projects and presentations.
Meeting with teams.
Studying for exams.
Reading books required by professors.

No more.

Last weekend I was deemed a master.

And now I’ve gotten time back. A lot of time, actually.

Time that can be spent doing more of this:
Giving baths.
Making soapy mohawks.
Cuddling wet hawklets in towels with trucks on them.
Reading books required by little boys.

Being (or working towards being) Master Mom.



*insert huge sigh of relief*

Monday, May 17, 2010

Take your target off of my child

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a seminar featuring the Chairman of Disney Consumer Products, Andy Mooney. Mooney shared insights that drive his business, one of the four divisions of the overarching Disney brand. In other words, he is one of those people I listen to and excitedly think, “I need to work for [INSERT THE PERSON’S BIG BRAND HERE]!!” But I digress.

Mooney shared several behind-the-curtain insights, which you might have noticed that day if you follow me on Twitter but one thing he said about Disney’s targeting particularly stood out to me and is still bouncing around in both the personal and professional sides of my brain like a little brain gnat that can’t do much damage but at the same time completely annoys me.

When asked who are Disney’s target audience or audiences, what do you think Mooney’s response was? Moms of kids within a certain age, right?

Nope, his first mention was girls ages 2 to 10, followed by boys slightly younger.

Not the moms… the kids.

This is not to say moms aren’t a consumer target for Disney, clearly Disney focuses on multiple target audiences including moms and its Disney Moms panel for the theme parks is a great example of that. But there is an audience prioritization going on. And our kids are in the bullseye. The marketers’ first thought, their first mention.

It’s not right or wrong. Clearly it’s working for Mooney. But here are several reasons why I can’t get this comment out of my mind:

  1. Mooney pointed to young children first – children likely too young to even have an allowance – as Disney’s primary target. Typically when we talk about targets, we are referring to consumers. Consumers by definition spend money. Does your young child do his or her own shopping, or do you shop for your child? Who is in charge?
  2. Mooney’s comment also tells me that Disney likely buys into the concept of nagging. I don’t want to think that Disney wants to wear me down to a ‘giving in’ point to get me to buy something my kids want. Rather, I want to know that Disney wants to build me up to get me to do the same behavior – to market to me directly and make me feel that if I gift my child with some Disney product I will be a better mom with happier, smarter, better-adjusted children.
  3. Mooney revealed that Disney looks at girls first and boys second. It’s no surprise that Disney is known for princesses and Cinderella’s castle. But boys love to be entertained just as much as girls do, and I still haven’t grasped the reasons why both genders aren’t equal opportunity customers for the Disney brand. I don’t tell my boys they can’t like pink, but the bottom line is they don’t want to play with princesses.
  4. As the mother of two children in this age range, the idea that there are strategy meetings going on to determine how to get my children to act a certain way makes my mama bear radar go up. Target me, that’s fine. I welcome brand engagement as the owner of the purse strings. I know what strategies are being put together around moms as consumers. But target my children with such strategies? Something feels icky about it.

Is it okay with you for a brand to target your kids, instead of you as the purchaser for your kids?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On Listening (I'm Looking at You, Marketers)

A colleague in the office next door to mine, who just returned from speaking at the PRSA Health Academy conference, mentioned that she heard several references to 2008's Motrin Moms debacle at the conference. I was surprised. And at the same time I wasn't. It's getting old, but it's not going away. This is further fuel to the fire. Moms rule.

And frankly, the paradigm power shift happening all around us as the marketing reigns are passed from brands to consumers and, especially, moms is exciting. This emerging “momocracy,” as we call it at FH Moms, is a result of the growing control consumers in general are exercising where and how they interact with brands, with moms increasingly holding the reins, steering brands this way and that and expecting immediate reactions. They’re getting reactions. And when ignored, they’re demanding reactions. Reactions that resonate with marketers for years, apparently.

Handing the control of your marketing reins to Mom may sound scary. But you don’t have a choice. It’s done, because she’s already taken them. The good news is dialoguing with moms is nothing to fear. They quickly activate, but they also quickly advocate when a brand gets it right. When she knows you are listening and drawing her into a dialogue, mom will share your her reins with you.

The truth is moms didn’t gain this control as a by-product of the rise of social media. Brand and product mentions, including recommendations for and against certain products or services have always permeated moms’ conversations. Remember when those conversations used to take place at PTA meetings and playgrounds? They still do. Moms’ reins of marketing power are not exclusive to social media, but social media gives us the opportunity to eavesdrop. Even better, it gives us the opportunity to spark and attempt to guide the conversation. It’s no nightmare. It’s a marketer’s dream.

Thanks to social media, marketing to moms is now evolving into marketing with spokesmoms, developing mom ambassadors, executing partnerships, reviews, sponsorships, giveaways, contests. How can you evolve with mom? Consider changing the word ‘marketing’ in the phrase to ‘listening’ or ‘engaging.’ Ask moms how they’d like to dialogue. Don’t be there just to be there. And for Pete’s sake, don’t e-blast a “Dear Mommy Blogger” pitch.

Forget about Motrin Moms, Maytag-gate or #NestleFamily for a minute. While loud, those case studies are not anomalies. There are all kinds of brand-centric conversations happening in what we sometimes refer to as the momosphere – that social media entity where mom blogs, mom tweets and mom social networks have become a place for content creation with brand and product mentions permeating the flow.

The mentions don’t happen because marketers took control of moms’ blog posts or status updates. Remember, mom was having brand-laden conversations and sharing her opinions with other moms before the momosphere. Mom bloggers have become our co-marketers because the mentions were there before we (the marketers, PR pros and advertisers) were. Behavioral research proves moms want to be the ones with the information; the ones with the persuasion abilities. They have gained huge readerships and hoards of followers because moms seek other moms’ opinions. They want the first looks, the behind-the-scenes, a sense of exclusivity. Social media enables moms to get what they want more easily. Remember, this is a momocracy.

How do we know moms want to be in-the-know consumers, persuading their mom peers to pay attention to the latest brand/product/service they are in to? In partnership with The Harrison Group, Fleishman-Hillard surveyed 3,000 North American women between 21 and 70, 71% of whom were moms. We uncovered some insightful emerging behaviors and attitudes – particularly in the current economy – that shed light on new intricacies in marketing to moms.

Our research goes way beyond the staid statistic that moms make 85% of household purchase decisions. Who doesn’t know that moms buy household supplies? What we uncovered was a nearly universal sense of success, with 90 percent defining themselves as “successful” and fully 60 percent defining themselves as “very successful,” even in a recession. They see themselves as the purchasing authority but also the relationship authority, the quality of life authority, the ones with the information and the persuasion abilities. In fact, 82% said they are the women whom their peers seek out for information, telling their peers what brands to pay attention to. It happens because they each want to be the ones with the information – the ones in the know.

These new leaders in the momocracy, who are setting the household agenda, aren’t particularly responsive to the voice of authority. They told us they believe they are the authority. And, to catch the attention of these pro multi-taskers we have to take an integrated approach, balanced differently than before. She is more digital than women without children, but she multi-tasks her media consumption, and can’t be marketed to in a social media vacuum. Our study showed moms spend 43 hours per week consuming media. Of these hours, 17 are spent online, followed by TV (14 hours), radio (8 hours), newspaper (3 hours), and magazines (2 hours).

Recognizing this, and finding ways to recognize them, is key to unlocking their potential as consumers, and potentially brand advocates. They consider themselves the source of information for their peer groups – what information are they sharing about your brand? What are you letting them in on? What relationships are you forging with them?

Are you even listening?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Boyfriend Material?

“What can I get you to drink?” the waitress asks us, standing over our table of four, pen in hand, poised over her pad.

“Pinot grigio for me, Bud Light for him, and two mil--” abrubtly she cuts me off.

“Do you know who I am?” she suddenly directs at my son. Then, squatting down beside the table, propping her face in her hands, atop her bent elbows. “Remember me?”

Oh God, what is happening?

My son stars at her, blissfully dumbfounded. I look at him, at my husband, at the face in the hands. The whole exchange feels like five minutes. Did I miss something?

“I’m Tierney’s mom,” she announces.

A-ha moment! We’ve heard of Tierney! Tierney goes to school with Graham! Connecting the dots!

“And Tierney told me that you were her boyfriend.”

Screech! Halt! Stop the presses! Rewind! Como se whaaaa? My son is four years old. But the face in the hands seems to be very pleased with this information.

Dear God, teenage years, please be kind to this mama.

P.S. Tierney’s mom is super nice and even got my boys to eat their peas. In fact, she might be an ideal mother-in-law…

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The new mommy blogger is not the daddy blogger

Dear Readers, please accept my apology. I left you on a cliff.

Although by now you’ve certainly jumped after forgetting all about why you were hanging out there. So let me offer you a hand back up.

A lot of chatter around me lately in these first few months of 2010 (because remember my job is to help clients better market to moms) relates to the year’s HOT TRENDS! BRAND NEW! SHINY PENNIES! But while some say the “new mom blogger” (and I quote because there is frankly NO replacement for the mom blogger – she will only continue to gain steam and savvy) is the dad blogger, I will stake my claim elsewhere.

Dear Readers, allow me to shine a spotlight on the grandma blogger. The nana blogger. The grandboomer blogger. The grammy, mimi, meeha, and vavo blogger.

Internet, we are witnessing a new phenomenon. A trend gaining steam.

Need some proof? What about Mimi, or Sharon, or Nanna, or Nana, or Teresa or this one, that one and the other?

And I could go on and on…

What is fueling this fire, you ask? Remember when you heard for the first time about the Boomer? About the fact that this was the largest generation, comprised of women re-branding their 50s as “the new 30s” and not settling for stagnation in retirement? Yes, these are the women I’m talking about. They are also (gasp!) grandparents.

And guess what. The average age of the first-time grandparent today is 48. This is the new grandboomer. She is not living your grandmother’s grandmotherhood, just like you are not living your mother’s motherhood. She is more likely to help you with caregiving. She is more likely to give your children the gifts you won’t buy them. She is a key player in the village you require to accomplish your motherhood (which now more than ever includes your careerhood, and your empowerment as CHO). She’s already on Facebook, where she not only keeps up with your life and gets the latest pictures of her grandkids, but also? She connects with her girlfriends and old high school boyfriends. Why would we assume she wouldn’t be interested in social media? She’s more social than we are.

Last year the Wall Street Journal took a look at the new generation of involved grandparents, pointing out some 40% of grandparents who live within an hour’s drive of young grandchildren provide regular child care while their mothers work (per a 2008 survey of 500 grandparents by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, an Arlington, Va., nonprofit). I am a living example of this trend.

And at the 2008 M2Moms (the national marketing-to-moms conference where I spoke last year) I heard Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO of Grandparents.com say grandparents spend on average $1,800 a year on their grandkids. While some of this money is spent on gifts for their children, to enable their children to cope with the needs presented by the addition of their grandkids (including cars, washer/dryers, and vacations!), the key takeaway is mom is focused on necessities of life. Grandparents often are focused on luxuries for their grandchildren.

(I’m looking at you, Mom!)

But wait -- that’s not all. One of the most important reasons the new mom blogger is not the dad blogger is one inherent issue: GENDER BEHAVIORS. Dad is a man. Research proves men just don’t communicate in the same way as women. (This is the part where my psychology minor comes out.) Gasp! I know, you’re shocked. Men don’t talk purdy like us. They also don’t share product recommendations like we do. They don’t see themselves as the resource for all their men friends to find out about what they should be buying.

But grandmothers? Women. Are you following?

And guess what other group is comprised of women – aunts. PANKS (Professional Aunt, No Kids). Aunts who blog are unique in that they love our children, and they purchase for our children. But they are not unique in that they, too, share product recommendations like women do. Have you met the lovely Savvy Auntie? If not, go now. Peruse her site. Understand why she has developed an entire community of aunts talking about their nieces, nephews, things they want to buy for them, and experiences they want to share with them.

No, the new mom blogger is not the dad blogger. There is nothing new about the fact that moms, grandmas and aunts are all women. And there is no shiny penny that will replace our inherent communicative behaviors. Sorry, dad, but you just can’t compete with that.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Call me “mommy” one more time and you’re headed straight to time out!

Our children use the term and it is sweet music. In fact, I mentioned in my last post that I don’t want my 4 year-old evolve from calling me mommy to the new version with extra whine: mawm. I just want to be his mommy.

But if an adult uses it, particularly an adult writing for the New York Times (who presumably should know more, or at least do more research about this powerful group of women who self-publish online or else be prepared for the firestorm that erupted over the weekend, evidenced here) or an adult working in marketing for a major brand wanting to enter into a professional relationship with powerful consumer influencers… it stings.

Who woulda thought “mommy” would one day be lumped into the “derogatory slang” category with so many other adjectives meant to label special interest groups? You know the ones I’m talking about.

In this case, I suppose it’s not just “mommy” but more specifically, “mommy blogger.” Is it derogatory? Or is it descriptive? Isn’t it just a matter-of-fact label if you blog about your kids or your motherhood?

I blog (about my kids and my motherhood, as a matter of fact). I am a mom. Of course that doesn’t exclusively define who I am. If someone calls me a mommy blogger, should I put my dukes up? They certainly don’t mean that I am ONLY a mom who blogs... do they?

As Lindsay Maines, (mama) blogger at Rock and Roll Mama, so eloquently put it: “The only folks who can call me mommy came from my naughty bits.”

But still, all those external to the momosphere (mommyosphere?) – like folks in my industry – are compelled to give this group a name. They’re grasping around to come to a consensus while those on the inside continue to build a groundswell against it.

How will it all shake out? Let’s check in on what others are saying (folks on the inside, the outside, the sideways and middle and inbetween), …

Some people make two words one (which, in my mind, is accompanied by a ‘shazam!’ sound effect): mommyblogger. Shazam! (You heard it too, didn’t you?)

And some capitalize it - a proper noun I guess: Mommy Blogger. Mommy Blogger. Jane Mommy Blogger. As in, ‘the.’

Others, myself included, have attempted to push the term towards maturity: mom blogger. Because my kids don’t call me mommy so why do my peers? ‘Could we touch base on the second quarter earnings figures, Mommy?’

While still others want to steer it away from the maternal aspect: female (or woman) blogger. I said I am woman, hear me roar. Not mommy.

And of course, the blogger part might be grating as well, so an even more PC version I’ve noticed recently is: female online writer. Because writing is so much more respectable than blogging, right New York Times?

Obviously not all moms online blog about their kids. Some bloggers have kids and you might not even know it. (What!? Doesn’t a woman with children have nothing else to talk about but her offspring and the cute things they do and say?)

If I blog about my kids sometimes and marketing other times, should I be labeled a mommy marketing blogger? (mommymarketingblogger, shazam!)

But seriously and snarklessly, can we just drop the mommy and all get along?

(On a side note, next time I’m mad at Hubby Hawks, maybe I’ll call him “daddy.” I’ll do it! Ooh, that’ll really irk him!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

He's a Kid Now

My baby turned four recently. There’s no passing him off as a toddler anymore, brutally evident last week when I picked him up from school and got to spy on him on the playground with the other boys. First, huddled in the corner around a red ball. Then, following each other to the tunnel. Laughing. I realized he was smaller than the other boys in the group.

“Get your backpack, Graham!” his teacher called, seeing me approach. Graham wasn’t fazed.

Harrison’s mom must have approached at the same time, because the teacher then called, “Harrison, get your backpack! Graham, don’t let Harrison beat you!” They both took off in a game of competitive direction following.

Harrison tossed his backpack strap over one shoulder. Graham did the same. “Bye Parrison!” Graham called in a voice reserved for buddies, not moms. As we walked out of the playground I tried to help him put the other strap over the other shoulder.“No mom!” he said, annoyed, pushing me away. “The big kids do it like this!” Gah. Geez. How embarrassing, MAWM. (Though I did bend down to pull up his droopy pants. Gotcha!)

In the car, Graham told me about Parrison and the big boys. How it was a good day because he played with the big kids. About how Parrison is five.

“I think his name is Harrison,” I said. “No, mom, it’s Parrison. It’s PARRISON!” Gah, he was so annoyed with how out of the loop I was.

And I was so annoyed with how I can’t stop time… how I’m sometimes MAWM and not always mama or mommy anymore… how conflicting it feels to want to hold on to my baby and at the same time be proud at how much he’s growing into himself. My kid.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Won Something

I don’t enter sweepstakes. I don’t play the lottery. I don’t win things.

Until this week.

This week I won something really big. Well, really big at least within the walls of my employing firm, Fleishman-Hillard.

So in this case you might be meh and I might be peeing my pants. But let me tell you why..

My third baby, the one I call FH Moms, the one I birthed at the office instead of the hospital and that requires food of the intellectual kind instead of the pureed – was named by firm leadership “Practice of the Year.”

Yes, that’s right. A little idea I had was just validated as a really really good idea by the crazysmart leaders of the 28 other global practice groups our firm maintains.

There I was, sitting in a staff meeting, listening to our regional president who was in town from Corporate to give a "State of the Firm" update (which it turns out was a guise to come to town to give me this award), and suddenly she was talking about me, about the practice I started, about the fact it was being bestowed a HUGE honor.

And I suddenly found myself in the mental states of “Oh dear God I did not wash my hair this morning” and “Did I just chew the skin off my bottom lip?” and “Speech! Speech on the spot! Quick! Be pithy!

And then someone flung the black felt draping off the beautiful glass award and someone else wheeled in a cake and… "wait, I was just home sick with a stomach bug yesterday and uh-oh, now my colleagues are giving me congratulatory hugs and am I giving them flu germs? Shirt to shirt? Is that possible?"

I won something. For being smart and working hard.

Hey mom, I won!



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Conversations with an almost-4-year-old

Me: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Him: "I will be a fireman. But I will get so tall because firemen are so tall. And then I won't fit into our house."
Me: "But will you visit us?"
Him: "I will be at the firehouse with the other firemen and I will be teaching fire safety."
Me: "Okay, that's pretty important. I understand. What do you think your little brother wants to be when he grows up?"
Him: "Probably a salesman."
_________________________________

Me: "Don't cover your nose; you need it to breathe."
Him: "Oh I can breathe on my own."
Me: "Your lungs help you breathe."
Him: "I don't have lungs."
Me: "Yes you do, they're inside your chest just like lots of other things inside your body that you don't see (start naming organs...)"
Him: "Is my brain by my eyes?"
Me: "Yes it's inside your head."
Him: "Well I don't feel it. But I do hear it. When I shake my head I can hear it."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love It, Hate It

Have you ever heard something that is catch-your-breath sweet and at the same time a punch in the gut?

Can anything do that quite like two little voices on the other end of a cell phone when they say this to a traveling-on-business-again mommy:

"Mommy will you come and cuddle with us before we go to bed?"

Aww. And ugh.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The middle-of-the-night dance

It’s 3:00 a.m. I hear a whine. In my limited coherency, my overworked subconscious starts going through its unregulated-by-daytime-logic freak out mode. Eyes closed, the questions start: Was that a cry? Is he puking again? Did he sit up or is it going to be on him again? Why is he throwing up so much? Is it a tumor? Something so rare that we’ll have to go doctor to doctor until someone finds the answer? What if he didn’t sit up and he’s choking? Is Hubby getting up? Get up! Get up, body! GET! UUUUUP!

My body finally moves, simultaneously waking up my logic. It tells my subconscious to snap out of it. It’s not a tumor. It’s a virus. And it’s time to change the sheets again. One foot in front of the other, I walk toward the whine.

“Buddy? Do you need to throw up again? Lean over the trash can, okay? Want some water?”

I get him out of bed. He’s hot. He’s limp. Take off the wet pjs and strip the sheets. He waits quietly, face down on the ottoman while I finish. “Water?” his small voice attempts. We’re both going through the motions as if this happens all the time.

Thank God it doesn’t. I pause my nighttime chores for just a second to admire him, his tiny body’s strength.

Hour after hour it comes. Each time, he yells out a warning. “Mommy!” “Daddy!” sometimes one of us literally jumps out of bed and runs in his room. The adrenaline - just sitting on go, waiting to be beckoned. Other times my subconscious wins, muddying my brainwaves. One eye opens and wonders why the alarm clock is so bright. Mind coaxes body up, feet to the hardwood. As if running underwater I don’t make it in time. I find myself feeling around in the dark to find the wet spots. With bare hands, trying to determine - without waking Little Brother - whether sheets and pjs need another change.

I realize that after so many times, there is not even a smell. I ponder how it’s possible his tiny body can do this over and over. Is it normal? And that prompts the middle-of-the-night subconscious to ask the freak out questions. Again.

He lies back down. See you in about an hour, buddy. I don’t say it out loud – maybe he thinks that was the last time. My feet guide my body back to bed.

We do this dance all night, though he switches dance partners between Mommy and Daddy. Subconcious occasionally tries to cut in. But Adrenaline often pushes it off.

In the morning, I break the news that he can’t go to school. I know all he wants to do is sleep but still he is disappointed. “I won’t throw up anymore!” he promises. I explain that his body still needs time to fight the germs inside.

“Will the germs come out of my mouth?” he asks.

The simultaneous cute and gross of his question erases the blur of our night. We are in this together, little man. Dance partners matched by God – the one who has a way of always making me forget how exhausted I am.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Today is Not Valentine's Day

Today is Feb. 10. It’s not Valentine’s Day. It’s Wednesday. And thus, it’s the Valentine’s Day party in the toddler room at St. John’s Parents Day Out. Of course it is!

And so this morning, this working mom’s “oh sh*t!” stream of consciousness kicked in. There I was anxiously trying to remember what ‘party day’ was supposed to mean to us. The whole process went something like this…

Find the Sesame Street Valentines Mimi picked up at a fellow retired teacher’s garage sale for 25 cents. Check. Sign child’s name to the Valentines but do not put any names on the outside envelopes to make it easier on the teachers. Okay. Do not include any candy because we never know who might be allergic to what, and besides teachers hate sugar in the classroom. Of course. Is this the one where we’re supposed to include little pencils, stickers, cutesy tokens? Maybe that’s the Friday school. Maybe Mimi knows. (Late for work. Late for work. Late for work.)

Okay, sign for Reid. Find a red marker? Pink crayon? Try to make the script a little more festive?

What would Reid want me to do? (Late for work. Late for work.)

Reid can’t write. Or read. And neither can his little friends at school. But dagnabit those other moms can so here we go.

Black ball point it is.

Flip them all over.

“From Reid”
“From Reid”
Use print instead of cursive, of course. I mean what toddler knows cursive?
“From Reid”
“From Reid”
15 times.

Is that enough? How many kids are there?

Settle on 15 with the logic that those rooms are pretty small and he doesn’t ever come home with bruises from kids climbing over him. Fifteen is probably more than I need. Oh crap, will I need some of those 15 for the Friday school? Wonder if I will I be doing this same tap dance on Friday morning.

Snap drifting mind back to the project at hand.

Feel guilty that Reid’s Valentines are likely going to be sub-par compared to the rest of the class. Remember that I still have to get shoes and coats on the boys and get them into the car. (Late for work. Late for work.)

Insert some granola bar bribery.

Stuff Valentines into his backpack’s front pocket. Make mental note to remember to tell Mimi they’re in there so she can take them out when he gets to school. Say a brief prayer thanking God that Mimi signed up to bring paper cups to the party, bypassing my incompetency.

Make mental note to never go out for PTA president.


Happy Valentine’s Day, dear reader. I mean, uh, Happy Wednedsay.


P.S. Yes, I realize I haven’t yet answered my cliffhanger from two posts ago. Clearly I have other crises to manage and haven’t had a chance, but rest assured (as I know you’ve bitten your nails down to stubs at this point) it’s coming.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Made Their Buildings Fall Down?

The dining room table at Mimi’s house was covered with plastic bags, towels, soap, toothbrushes.

“Tell Mommy what we’re doing, Graham,” Mimi prompted.

“Mommy, there are people in Haiti and their houses and buildings fell down. They lost their toothbrushes and their towels,” he explained, the thought clearly processing in his head while the words fell out of his mouth.

“What made their buildings fall down?” he tried to remember out loud, interrupting himself.

“An earthquake,” Mimi reminded.

He asked if there were little boys in Haiti and my heart skipped a beat. Mimi answered simply, yes. His little mind continued to ponder. What exactly? We can only guess. But the pondering - a glimpse for me that my little man has altruism inside there, empathy.

Then, while putting his shoes on: “But mommy, who’s going to help them build their buildings and their houses?”

Who, indeed. I imagined my boy as a man, hand outstretched, hammer ready. He is young, but he is able. He speaks in ‘wants’ but inherently knows ‘needs.’ We all do – survival instincts.

For now, and with Mimi’s gentle guidance, he’s filling plastic bags with basics.

But he’s filling me with pride.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Attempting to Stop the Shiny Penny from Jumping to Conclusions

Hubby Hawks is a research subject. Or, he should be. Watching him father, I feel as though I am watching a major generational shift taking place in my own home. I’m watching a trend gathering in front of my face. You know that term “The Greatest Generation?” Well, I believe he is part of the greatest generation of fatherhood to date.

Let me explain…

My husband is helpful. Yesterday, I bragged to my colleague in the office that the night before I had come home to enchiladas in the oven. Yes, my husband cooks. He changes diapers. He bathes our children. He plays and reads stories. He packs lunches and backpacks.

I know. I’m livin’ the dream. But let me clarify. When I say he’s helpful, it’s not that he’s helping me per se. He’s helping his children. Because he is their father. He is parenting.

I do all of those things too. (Although for some reason I find giving baths so tiring.) But I am no Betty Draper, thank God. (Okay, and I am a horrible cook. Are you happy now?)

That colleague I mentioned above has a different parenting experience. In her household, some of the antiquated and stereotypical gender roles are still evident. Some. At least, enough for her to be in awe of my enchiladas in the oven.

The Cassandra New Family Report of 2009 underscored the shift to this new involved dad. It showed that Gen X and Y dads don’t see staying at home with the kids as demeaning. In fact, 40% of Gen Y dads believe themselves to be the primary caretaker of the children. When asked how they would choose to spend a free afternoon, they said they would want to be with their children. Moms said they would choose to have alone time.

This is all very exciting. But the research is also giving people permission to draw assumptions… jump to conclusions. Some think the daddy blogger will become the new marketing influencer, the “new mommy blogger.” I’m not convinced. Research shows dads just don’t communicate in the same ways we do. I’ve talked about this before, but maybe you weren’t reading here then. Dads who are changing diapers aren’t dictating what diapers to buy. They aren’t telling each other why they choose said diaper brand, or what that diaper brand is currently doing to green its business practices. They aren’t forging blogging communities and networks to find each other and have these conversations about where parenting and products intersect like moms are. Okay, okay, some dads are. SOME. Not enough to make a statistically significant difference. And that is the point.

And yes, I am fully aware that we have recently entered for the first time ever that point in which there are as many men as women in the workforce. And that the economic downturn forced more men to stay at home with the kids. But getting laid off doesn’t mean those dads were rushing home to start blogging about whether their kids’ chocolate milk should be organic. If I was a dad who was laid off in 2009 and I knew that some marketers equate my loss of a job to my being now part of a rising trend of “daddy bloggers” oh I would be pissed.

How could marketers be so tied to gender stereotypes that they think just because dads today are more involved, more hands on, more helpful in the household (or God forbid because they have lost a job) that they must also now be the same kind of consumer as moms are, having the same conversations in the same places?

Some marketers are too quick to jump on the daddy blogger bandwagon. I consider it part of the shiny penny syndrome that is rampant in this business. With every calendar rotation, the talk naturally shifts to what’s going to be the new trend? What’s going to be the new in thing for our business, to keep the trade media and our competitors talking about us, guessing our next move?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. My husband is not living his father’s fatherhood. But he is also not living my motherhood. And I can assure you he will never blog, tweet, or status-post. And if he does, it’s not going to involve any mention of diapers or organic chocolate milk.

That said, I do believe there is another type of blogger who will start to add volume to the mommy blogger’s voice this year and over the next few years, and I’ll share more on that in my next post.

(Ooooh, my first blog cliffhanger! Are you excited?)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's Reader Appreciation Day!


What? It's a new year?! And I haven't posted yet in this entire year?! Well, please forgive me. I'll be back with some random diatribe soon, but in the meantime, thank you dear reader for coming back and visiting us here in the Hawks Nest. Your visits are the bright spots in our days. So on behalf of the Hawklets, thank you!