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Edelman Studies the ‘Modern Family’

Three of the stars of the ABC program 'Modern Family' Photo: ABC/PETER "HOPPER" STONE

No, not the show (although that would be pretty cool too), but the nature of families in the U.S. today. Teaming up with their research firm StrategyOne, Edelman surveyed more than 2,400 people, with an “oversample” of multicultural and GLBT respondents for the “Marketing to the Modern Family” study.

The study found that mom is hustling, managing the family finances (86 percent said they’ve taken on this responsibility), working (75 percent said they’re earning money), and making major family purchases (84 percent said they’re buying cars). All of these figures are higher than the past, some considerably so.

There’s a new family dynamic, but dad isn’t just hanging out on the couch.

Eighty-four percent of dads said they’re looking after the kids. About two-thirds (67 percent) are cooking, and 70 percent say they’re cleaning.

Figures cited from the 2010 U.S. Census and the 2011 Family Equity Council show that only four percent of families fall into the “traditional” category– stay-at-home mom, working dad, kids under 18 years of age. Moreover, the number of African-American households where a woman is the head has surpassed the number led by a married couple. And two million children are being raised by GLBT parents.

All of this points to not just an increased need to reach mom if you’re trying to tug on the family purse strings, but also to target other members of the new American family.

‘Marketing to the Modern Family’ found that, while moms are still a critical audience for brands, changing dynamics have created a new set of rules and audiences that marketers should consider when targeting the family of today,” Christina Smedley, global chair of the consumer marketing practice at Edelman, said in a statement.

For more info on the study, email


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