The Modern Family, and What it Means for Advertisers

By Alexandra Pickel | December 2, 2013

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This year, I got to make the Thanksgiving turkey. I prepared with two practice rounds in early November, roasting whole chickens for my husband and me. I was ready.

On the big day, as my dad read each instruction for turkey prep–remove gizzards, rinse turkey, pat dry, lay on roasting rack, rub salt–a refrain began to take shape. “Oh, Jordy normally does that part,” I kept saying.

My mom, supervising from the sidelines had caught on to what my husband, to date, hasn’t. “What exactly do you do to cook if Jordy does all this work?”* Oops, I’d been caught. Caught in the act of being a Modern Family.

With both of us working (and two dogs to care for), the “traditional” roles are thrown out the window in my household. We contribute equally (or so I’ve duped my husband into thinking, hehe) when it comes to the household chores. I do my share, but he has taken on a wide range of household tasks, from cooking, to vacuuming, and (in my greatest victory of all), grocery shopping.  On and on his list goes, our modern roles taking shape before our (and my mother’s) very eyes.

The other group to have caught on to the modern family? Tide detergent. Over the holiday weekend, I watched both a holiday movie marathon on Lifetime AND a thrilling Villanova basketball game (victory over Kansas!) on NBC Sports. I saw more Tide laundry detergent commercials on the latter, clearly targeted towards husbands who help around the house. Slowly, I’ve been noticing these ads cropping up. Their messages are heartwarming and humorous, and I love what Proctor & Gamble has done to get there.

Tide and P&G went right back to the basics. They got to know their audience, all over again. It may not be the same audience it’s been since its introduction 67 years ago, and that’s okay. It is one thing to stay where your audience is–social media, mobile devices, Netflix–but entirely  another thing to truly know who your audience is now and will be down the road. It takes work, it takes research, and it takes the ability to not only accept change but to capitalize on it.

Kudos, Tide. I can’t wait to see what happens next time “laundry detergent” is on the grocery list.

*In case you’ve been wondering, my role in the chicken and turkey cooking comes in once the gross handling of raw fowl is complete, and I can season, stuff, smother it in butter and spices, and place it in the oven.

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