Branded Media and Redefining Fatherhood

By: Margaret A. Murphy  

Parenting and stereotypical gendered roles are evolving in society today as dual income families become the norm, single parent households are on the rise, and family household activities become redistributed. This inquiry, supported by academic and industry research, as well as original primary research challenges whether contemporary brands are keeping pace with these evolving gendered parenting roles. A content analysis of 637+ high profile advertisements evaluates recent branded messages in terms of portrayals of father figures, familial activities evidenced, and parent-child gendered relationships. A growing number of these high-profile branded messages align with documented societal shifts, but others remain rooted in stereotypical depictions of fathers as distant authority figures and/or buffoonish bumbling sidekicks. This contemporary branded media investigation concludes with recommendations for both next steps in this research inquiry and preliminary suggestions for more consistently responsible representations of contemporary fathers in today's evolving popular culture.

Fatherhood Media Brands
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Margaret A. Murphy

-, -, Columbia College, United States
IL, United States

Peg Murphy, BFA and MA, is a full-time instructor in Columbia College Chicago’s Marketing Communication Department. Ms. Murphy brings 20+ years of “applied advertising art” experience and a commitment to training tomorrow’s marketing stars today. Ms. Murphy’s professional advertising career has included work with corporations such as: Apple Computer, Boca Burger, Crate & Barrel, Marshall Field’s; Motorola, Nine West, Spiegel, True Value, Walgreens and more. Having worked at both global firms and “high spin” creative boutiques as part of the agency management and strategic planning team, Peg Murphy became one of the youngest Vice Presidents ever. In addition, Ms. Murphy has also served as the National Director of Corporate Communications for a designer retailer in high-end department stores (e.g., Neiman-Marcus, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, etc.) across the United States. She currently runs how own marketing consultancy and continues to assist smaller, non-profit companies today. At Columbia College, Peg Murphy is the Faculty Advisor to the Advertising Club and Co-Advisor for the American Ad Federation’s NSAC team. Ms. Murphy has also recently co-published a paper regarding Gay Media Imagery; presented a paper at the University of Coimbra, Portugal and co-led a workshop for the International Journal of Arts and Sciences.