Dad is Dad, So Don’t Treat Him Like Mom

By: Melissa DeCesare, Edison Research

In my household, my children easily identify which parent will fill the current role that they need.  Without directly stating it, my daughter leaned to my husband as the lead when it came time to ride a two wheeler, and he is also the preferred study partner for her tests at school.  However, when it comes to solving a problem, picking out clothes or doing an art project, I am the chosen one.   As two equal parts in the parenting whole, neither of us is better…just different and our children acknowledge that in their own way by their choice of interaction with us.  This realization of difference between mom and dad is evident not only in our own households but also in the marketing world.

Dads are not moms and they do consume and behave differently with regard to technology and media. In the Edison and Arbitron Moms and Media 2012 report, we showed a few comparisons of moms and dads and as we get ready to honor dads on Sunday,  I’ll highlight some notable reasons (beyond the obvious) as to why moms are moms and dads are dads.  While they do share some commonalities, they should not be addressed interchangeably by marketers.

Dads have different social habits than moms 

  • -Dads are just as familiar with Facebook as moms, but are less likely to have a profile page,  60% of dads have a profile page vs. 72% of moms.
  • -On average, dads check Facebook 2.1 times in 24 hours but moms check in about 4.7 times.
  • -Well under a third of social networking dads, 28% check the sites several times per day compared to the 46% of their mom counterparts.
  • -Almost half of Facebook dads (49%) are somewhat or very concerned about the privacy of their personal information on the site while 61% of moms on Facebook said the same.

Moms seem more mobile than Dads 

  • -More than half of dads have a smartphone at 56%, but moms are out ahead with 61% saying they own one.
  • -Dads are less likely than moms to use their cell phone to social network, with 27% of dads saying they use it most for access to Facebook, compared to 41% of moms who said so.
  • -Ownership of iPhone is lower among dads than moms at 20% and 25% respectively.

Dads view Internet video but don’t share 

  • -Dads spent an average of 5 hours and 12 minutes viewing video over the Internet in the last week; much more than moms who averaged about 4 hours and 22 minutes.
  • -Right in line with higher Internet viewing, 52% of dads who access the Internet watched YouTube specifically in the last week compared to 46% of moms who access the Internet.
  • -Even though dads have higher Internet video viewing, they are less likely than moms to share YouTube videos.  About a third (34%) of dads who watched YouTube programming shared a clip in the last month.  By comparison, 52% of YouTube watching moms shared something.


In some instances the marketing lines are getting a little blurry as more moms and dads share household chores and family tasks, but there is still something to be said for the differences we see, particularly in social media habits and with Internet video viewing.  These differences can prove valuable when measuring ways to reach the target or finding ways to explain media consumption and behavior.   Regardless of how important or equal these two groups are, as any child will tell you:  mom is mom and dad is dad.

1 reply
  1. Dads Gone Social
    Dads Gone Social says:

    I found these statistics very interesting and informative. The amount of social networking sites focusing on moms is staggering. On the flip side, social sites made jus for dads is half as much. The numbers above prove that dads can go social. Visit and help build a quality site just for dads.


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