July 07, 2016 14:03 ET

New Report Finds Millennial Fathers, LGBT Parents Misrepresented by Brands

81% of Millennial Parents Believe Fathers Are Not Portrayed Accurately in Advertising Today

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - July 07, 2016) - As more Millennials become parents, advertisers are not keeping up and missing a significant opportunity with an influential generation of moms and dads, reveals a report released today by Engine Group's Cassandra, the leading company for youth insights and emerging trends.

Cassandra's Modern Parents Report found that only 19 percent of Millennial parents in the U.S. feel dads are represented fairly by brands -- a number that dips to 9 percent when Millennial parents were asked about the representation of LGBT parents by advertisers.

"Brands are still depicting dads as bumbling or uninformed when it comes to caring for their children, and as a result, they're alienating a key segment of the parenting population," said Melanie Shreffler, Senior Insights Director at Cassandra. "That stereotype does not resonate with an open-minded generation that has moved beyond traditional gender roles and family units."

The report reveals:

  • Millennial dads (not moms) dominate social media.
    • Millennial dads are significantly more likely than Millennial moms to style or stage photos of their child for the purpose of posting them on social media.
    • They are also more likely than Millennial moms to post videos of their child online.
    • Millennial dads are also just as likely as Millennial moms to comment or blog about their child's achievements or activities online.
  • Stay-at-home dads (SAHDs) overall feel more fulfilled in their roles than stay-at-home Moms (SAHMs).
    • Only 11 percent of SAHDs would prefer to have a job or career (compared to 13 percent of SAHMs).
    • SAHDs are much less likely to report feeling:
      • Exhausted at just 28 percent (compared to 56 percent for SAHMs)
      • Stressed at 32 percent (compared to 49 percent of SAHMs)
      • And under-appreciated, at 15 percent (compared to 40 percent for SAHMs)

Shreffler added, "Millennial dads are not simply inhabiting the role traditionally reserved for mothers. They are embracing the opportunity and putting their own twists on parenting. We are seeing this in viral videos of dads doing their daughters' hair and the recent Cheerios Challenge."

The report also found shifting trends in the following areas:

  • Parenting Style
    • After growing up with Boomer "peerents" who acted like their children's friends, Millennials are rebounding from this approach and adopting a parenting style that in which they are more of a mentor or guide role, encouraging their kids to find their independence and take an active role in family decision making.
  • Permissiveness
    • Millennial parents are lax when it comes to their kids trying alcohol and marijuana.
      • The average age at which parents believe it is acceptable for their kids to drink alcohol is 19, while the average age at which they believe it is acceptable to use marijuana is 14.
  • Quality Family Time
    • Millennial parents are not fighting the invasion of technology in family life, which they consider a given; instead they are finding ways to use it to their advantage and bring their families closer together.

To learn about additional insights uncovered in Cassandra's Modern Parents Report or for information on how to subscribe, visit


Cassandra's Modern Parents Report was generated through a quantitative online survey fielded in the U.S. and the UK. We interviewed a sample of 1,000 U.S. and 1,000 UK Millennial parents defined as adults ages 19 to 35 who have a child that is 17 years old or younger. Parents had to have complete or partial responsibility for their child's care in order to participate. Throughout the report, we refer to these groups as U.S. and UK Parents.

Among the respondents, about 60% consider themselves working parents while about 40% consider themselves stay-at-home parents. We refer to these groups as Working Parents and Stay-At-Home Parents, respectively, throughout the report. Of stay-at-home parents, about 20% are full-time stay-at-home parents who also work outside of this role or are part-time stay-at-home parents who also have a full-time or part-time job. These parents, along with the overall Working Parents group, will be referenced as Parents Who Work To Some Degree throughout the report.

The quantitative survey was fielded from March 22 through April 6, 2016.

We also conducted in-depth qualitative interviews, both online and in person, among U.S. and UK Parents, sourced from our private online community, Cassandra Speaks. Community members are hand-selected for their creative, expressive, and forward-thinking mindsets.

About Cassandra

For almost 20 years, Cassandra has been the leading company for modern youth insights through its ongoing study of emerging trends in youth behavior. Cassandra identifies developing movements in popular culture and translates data into insights for the nation's top companies, brands, and institutions. From rich quantitative insights to robust qualitative learning, Cassandra is a must-have resource for marketers, consumer researchers, content creators, and product managers looking to the future and identifying Millennials and Gen Z as audiences to win. Cassandra is part of Engine Group, a mid-sized global marketing services network comprised of specialist communications agencies that transform brands through a collaborative culture and business approach. For more information, visit

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