Ending Stereotypes • The lives of men are changing dramatically – their relationships (especially with women), home life, parenthood and careers. More of them support gender, economic and lifestyle equality and aren’t afraid to appear vulnerable. • Their evolving attitudes have resulted in more focus on their health and appearance and how they shop and what they buy. Brands and retailers can’t rely on the old stereotypes to reach and engage with men. • The insights and information in this Special Report from Media Group Online will help reveal the new male consumer and what kind of messages will resonate with him.
Men by the Numbers • According to the US Census Bureau, there were 327.2 million Americans as of 2018. Of those 327.2 million, 161.1 were men, or 49.2% of the total. The other 166.0 million were women. • From 2010 to 2018, the US male population increased 6.2%, with Caucasian Americans just +0.4%; African Americans, +8.2%; Latino Americans, +18.0%; Asian Americans, +28.0%; and men of two or more races, +28.2%. • By 2045, Caucasian Americans will be a minority, or 49.5%, compared to the combination of all other ethnicities. Even sooner (2035), there will be more adults 65+, or 23.5%, than children younger than 18, or 19.8%.
Understanding How Men Have Changed • According to the latest data from the Pew Research Center, just 7% of fathers were stay-at-home parents during 2016, a substantial increase from 1989’s 4% while stay-at-home mothers haven’t changed much, or 28% and 27%, respectively. • A more positive trend among stay-at-home fathers was a 600% increase from 1989 to 2016 who did not work outside the home because they were taking care of the home/family, or 4% and 24%, respectively. • Despite this increase, 78% of stay-at-home moms were doing so for the same reason during 2016, but that was a decrease of 12 percentage points from 1989’s 86%.
Changes in Single Parenthood and Labor Participation • From 1970 through 2018, the number of children living with a single father increased from 748,000 to 3.25 million, or a 334% increase, while children living with a single mother increased from 7.45 million to 16.40 million, a 120% increase. • The dramatic changes in the labor force participation rate since 1950 reveal why today’s men/fathers dedicate more of their time to children and the home. • During that year, 86.3% men and 34.0% of women were in the labor force, but those percentages were much closer to parity during June 2019, or 69.0% and 57.2%, respectively.
What Men Like To Do with Their Time • During an average day, men spend less time than women for household activities, 1.36 hours and 2.17 hours; purchasing goods/services, 0.61 and 0.82; and caring for and helping household/non-household members, 0.41 and 1.14, respectively. • Unsurprisingly, the largest percentages of men who attended a movie theater (39.8%) and visited a bar or night club (44.3%) during the past 4 weeks were 25–34 while the second largest age group was 50–64, or 24.5% and 24.9%, respectively. • The results were quite similar for attending country and rock music concerts; however, 31.7% of those attending an opera, symphony or theater during the past year were men 50–64 and 24.1% were 65+, compared to 26.1% for men 25–34.
Men as Shoppers • Although sales of women’s wellness and beauty products are much larger than men’s, the men’s portion is increasing quickly, with Allied Market Research forecasting a total of $166 billion by 2022. • Not surprising, 52% of mothers, compared to 27% of fathers, shop for groceries in a store, with a similar comparison for household items, mothers, 50%, and fathers, 24%. • In households with the largest incomes, men over-index for plans to purchase a car, van, truck or SUV; a personal computer/equipment; a major household appliance; a new TV; a home; and new furniture.
Men as Internet Shoppers, Part 1 • A counterintuitive insights from First Insight’s January 2019 survey is more men shop via a smart speaker than women. The percentage of men who owned a smart speaker during 2018 more than doubled from 2017, or 47% and 22%, respectively. • Larger percentages of men than women use a smart speaker to browse products, ask for product recommendations, reordered previously purchased products and add products to their shopping cart and then buy them on a smart speaker. • Inmar Analytics’ 2019 survey of 2,000 online grocery shoppers, 45% of whom were men, found 65% of them said they shop for most or all the groceries for their households.
Men as Internet Shoppers, Part 2 • According to The Media Audit’s 2019 Rolling Aggregate Survey, the largest percentages of men who made 12+ e-commerce purchases during the last year were the oldest age groups of men, 45–64 and 65+. • Another surprising finding is men 65+ over-indexed slightly more than those 18–24 for shopping online for electronics and appliances, or 149 and 145. • Although small percentages of men shop online for furniture and mattresses, when they do, significant percentages shop on Amazon: 18–24, 23.5%; 25–44, 24.5%; 45–64, 14.9%; and 65+, 7.4%.
Time to Ditch the Advertising Stereotypes • Research reported in Kanter/AdReaction’s Getting Gender Right report clearly shows too many marketers (worldwide) still don’t understand the male stereotype(s) that have persisted for millennia are no longer applicable. • Men may still be the dominant household breadwinner, but they are devoting more time to caring for children and the home and the primary chore of grocery shopping. • Millennial men/fathers are especially tired of the stereotypes and are confident of their parenting skills and are glad to display emotions and sensitivity.
Marketers Have Much Work To Do • Of the male marketers Kantar surveyed, 88% said they are “creating advertising that avoids gender stereotypes” and 90% said they are “creating advertising that contains gender-balanced content.” • Smaller percentages of female marketers shared those views, at 76% each, which suggests even they are blind to gender changes in society. • When Kantar asked consumers about marketers’ claims, their opinions were just the opposite, as 71% men and 76% of women said marketers are doing a poor job of representing genders accurately in their advertising.
Men Can’t Live Without Their Daily Dose of Media • A media day analysis of the four age groups featured throughout this special report reinforces the broad trends of male media consumption. • Television is still the largest percentage of men’s media day, although younger men under-index while older men over-index. Radio is #2 among all four age groups, but only those 25–44 over-index in its daily use. • Internet usage is stronger among young men and declines among older men. Although in the low double-digits, newspapers still account for a portion of all men’s media day.
A Competitive Advantage for Your Clients • It’s important to share this Special Report with your local TV advertising prospects and clients, because the same trends about today’s American male apply just as much to local advertisers/retailers as they do major brands and retail chains. • Now is the time for local TV advertisers to address the issues about how men (and women) are portrayed in their commercials and other advertising media and their messages. • Proactive local businesses that adopt these changes for their advertising are very likely to create a competitive advantage for themselves and reach, engage and attract a larger share of the male consumer.