Pi Attitude Zone: Ethics & Altruism

Immigrants and Baby Goods : Where’s The Daddy?

Consumer insight research can reveal unexpected truths.  Pi was called upon to help a big international brand of baby goods with an aspect of its European baby-care product marketing.

With the growing demographic importance across Europe of immigrant communities – families from North Africa’s Maghreb, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and so on – a question was hanging in the air. Was the standard advertising approach likely to work when selling baby-goods to parents from these immigrant communities?  Or should special campaigns be developed, tailored to their cultures, perceptions and attitudes?

The baby product sector seems always to have based its advertising visuals on the classic mother-and-baby close-up, showing mutual adoration between a doting mom and her cuddly bundle of joy.  Nothing else got into the picture – aside, of course, from the brand of diapers, lotion, wipes or baby powder being advertised. 

So, the same visual approach ought to work for parents from other cultures, right?  Ah, not necessarily… 

The first Pi insight was that “parent” is a confusing term.  All parents are necessarily either mothers or fathers.  The two think differently from each other, so their attitudes needed to be investigated separately. 

We ran the Pi-Charts for immigrant parents, and saw a common pattern between husbands and wives on things like religious belief and getting on in life.  However, Pi also noticed a number of attitudinal divergences between the sexes, implying different definitions of what constituted happiness for women as opposed to men.  

The immigrant fathers’ strong moral and religious convictions were combined with a feeling that “men must be strong and self-reliant to succeed”. 

Their wives, by contrast, seemed driven by domesticity, sensuality, material well-being, and the desire for a quiet life, even at the expense of living in the man’s shadow. 

It was as if immigrant moms were saying “obedience to the Almighty – and to the menfolk we depend on – is what will get us wives what we need for ourselves, for our children, for the family in general.  We need a husband’s approval. That’s how we make sure of being properly looked after and protected”.

So Pi looked at all those mother-and-baby pictures again.  Suddenly the question became blindingly obvious:  where’s the daddy?  In immigrant communities across Europe, a protective father-figure should be shown in the background, approving of the mother’s choices for her baby.

Pi says: now that’s a worthwhile consumer insight.

Zone: Ethics & Altruism Country: Europe Product – Consumer Products