If your mommy's so great, why didn't she hold down a man?
The official, and none too kind, stereotypical interpretation of "Single Mom" is being redefined and tossed out faster than formula at the La Leche League. We are no longer deadbeats, leeches, whores, hookers, caring people who loved the wrong guys, or women unable to get a good or bad man in the first place.
Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names are easily changed. Money talks and stigma walks.
AdWeek's statistics say 40% of all children are born to single mothers today. That's a lot of present and future consumer spending dollars Madison Avenue clients don't want to lose to a competitor.
Marketers are paying attention to us because we're working and earning money. Even if all we can afford is macaroni and cheese, all those competing brands want the business and cereal/tuna fish/ pizza pockets are nipping at their heels, trying to convince us to make them pantry staples too.
They want us. They really want us.
of course, you can't portray single mom depressed, overwhelmed, unwashed and surfing lonely hearts dating sites in a TV ad while our kids are in the background watching TV like zombies when you want to sell us pasta.
May corporate America pay for the ads that'll portray us moms as many of us see ourselves: Strong, courageous, independent, hardworking, self-sufficient, inspirational, loving, caring, intelligent, creative and so much more.
The ads will tell America how to see us. And America believes and embraces what it sees on TV. (How else can you explain Fox News?)
Single moms are not soccer moms; we're Alpha moms, women in control of our own destinies.
To the best of my non-psychic ability, I predict a Home Depot spot. Mom is deep in smart conversation with an employee on sanding, priming and painting. The capper will be her picking the colors without tears, negotiation or debate. Paint that living room dusty rose, single mom. Because you can. Mom has her busy life, family, career, and personal life to balance. She may or may not have taste in colors but the single mom gets what she wants, within budget reason.
Billions of dollars of research money spent on surveys and focus groups have discovered (what I've known for years):
Single moms are for the most part
1. Older (average age, 39)
2. Traditionalists. In the traditional sense of the word. We just define tradition a little differently. It's less about maintaining the perfect family charade and more about values and cornerstones like sitting down to eat together.
3. Accepted by mainstream society
4. Growing in numbers
5. Changing the media to accommodate us. Words like "husband" or "spouse," are getting replaced with ones like "partner" when used generally. (A tip of the hat to the LGBT crowd for this too)
6. Influencers. We influence our kids, our peers and our extended family. We make purchases on everything from cameras to cars. We're appreciated for our shopping as we moms tend to browse around and gather more information before we purchase something. we wear the pants and the dress in teh family and think rationally as well as emotionally. We also need to do all the research ourselves and there's no debate. Men tend to buy, going straight in for the “kill". They also tend to spend more on things one can really like without. Super high definition, for example.
Perfect moms are on their way out in the media, if they're not gone already.
The perfect mom is a unicorn and everyone knows unicorns don't carry wallets.