A new study from Yahoo! shows that dads are feeling left in the dust by advertisers.

What gives? Changing times, shared familial responsibilities, and a little something called the recession.

With the loss of jobs in the manufacturing and construction industries, more and more dads have found themselves taking a greater part in home life. Yet, even though dads are now helping out with choosing diapers, picking up groceries and purchasing clothes, the report suggests dads aren’t feeling the advertising love.

Rather than capitalizing on this new Daddy Super Shopper, the study reports that few dads feel that ads are directed at them, even though more are now the primary or shared-decision maker.

• 66% of dads felt ignored by apparel advertising

• Yet, 57% of dads claimed they are the primary decision-maker and an additional 37% shared decision-making in the category.

• With child and baby care, 57% of dads felt alienated by ads, yet 80% were either primary or shared decision-makers.

The report goes on to remind us that dads are big on researching products prior to purchase. They’re in the digital space studying up on the best deals for their families;  an area that we used to think belonged only to Moms and yet, with the exception of the gadget industry, few brands are creating messages that speak to the papas.

According to Yahoo!’s Advertising Blog, “The data paints a portrait of a multi-million-man army whose members are online and reachable by digital media. In other words, unless there’s an as-yet undiscovered caveman subculture, virtually every American dad is Digital Dad.”

The Point? Data-driven marketers don’t ignore Digital Dads.

And, do it in a fashion that respects the dads role as a household decision maker. I’m looking at you ads that mock dads. The classic approach to marketing dads as the buffoon when it comes to household products isn’t likely to win over the new Digital Daddy demographic.

Keep in mind dads approach purchasing differently than moms. The study notes that dads are more prone to making snap purchasing decisions and will buy premium brands feeling it’s a safer choice.  But,  “Marketers who know how to “speak dad” and offer relevant content at the types of websites they enjoy can lure Digital Dads to their store aisles.

“By incorporating information dads can use to make an informed purchase and acknowledging that they have a stake in purchase decisions, savvy marketers can take advantage of this prime opportunity to build brand loyalty with an emerging audience,” Yahoo! writes.

So, picture a dad pushing that virtual shopping cart and start writing that copy.

Image Source: health.msn.com