I don’t want to be an Amazon Mom

One of the smartest retailers in the world, Amazon.com doesn’t miss a trick. Whether it’s recommendation engines, group selling, auctions, or sending you notifications of new works by artists and authors you like, there’s not much that the Seattle-based powerhouse doesn’t get right.

Except for one thing.

For reasons that escape me, the corporate team at Amazon seems to be unable to grasp that Dads are parents too. Their membership club for parents in the USA is called Amazon Moms. Why just Moms? Well, obviously there’s some element of angst about that decision, as demonstrated in this advertisement the company’s running on Facebook:

amazon moms loves dads facebook advert

I’m glad that Dads like Amazon Mom, and I appreciate that Amazon even carefully words the membership criteria to include us guys too:

amazon moms membership criteria

So they’ve got that covered. Mom, dad, grandparent, caretaker, it’s all good.

I could probably let that slide as just some daft and myopic branding on their part, but here’s the rub: Check out Amazon.co.uk, the United Kingdom version of Amazon, and they don’t offer Amazon Mom. They offer this:

Amazon Family - UK

So here’s the obvious question that I — and a lot of other Dads — want to know: If they can call the program “Amazon Family” in the UK, why can’t they rebrand their US-based program to also be called Amazon Family instead of Amazon Moms?

Crisis? Time to have a boycott? Of course not. It’s not a huge issue, but if we’re going to tilt at the windmills of discrimination, racism and continue to muddle away in the humorless gender wars, why not ask Amazon to rebrand it so that us Dads don’t have to be an afterthought in a lazy Facebook ad campaign, but are intrinsically part of the parenting family by calling the US program Amazon Family too?

5 comments on “I don’t want to be an Amazon Mom

  1. Our first child was born on February. During my wife’s pregnancy, I was struck by a glaring disconnect: the caregivers were all extremely inclusive while almost every piece of marketing thrown at us was not. It is aimed squarely at the mother.

    To elaborate further … inclusiveness was just a part of doing business for the doctors, nurses, ultrasound techs, and other medical professionals. To a T, each one always made sure to ask us both if we had questions, didn’t treat me as a “dumb guy” if I asked what I thought was a stupid question, and were flexible to schedule appointments outside working hours so I could attend. From the moment my wife knew she was pregnant to the actual delivery and beyond, I’ve never been treated as anything less than a full partner.

    Contrast that with marketing material we were inundated with. Almost all show the angelic-looking mother wearing all white staring into her Gerber baby-perfect eyes. Dad is nowhere to be found (or he’s in the background).

    As a marketing professional and new Dad, this state of affairs depressed me. Hopefully, brands like Amazon (of which we are enthusiastic customers) will work to correct this glaring disconnect.

  2. Things have definitely changed for the better over the years, but we still have a way to go. When my first child was born (1997), the concept of a “baby changing station” in the mens room was almost unheard of. (More than one diaper was changed on the floor, using my jacket as a “bedding”.

    On the other hand, there are also those who included “dad” purely superficially. There are plenty of “parents” magazines which as 99% mom-oriented, with perhaps a sidebar or two mentioning “dad”, “father”, or “him”. I’m not sure which is worse.

  3. My guess is Amazon has some $$$ sunk into the branding of this, otherwise they could correct the matter and score some feel good points with Dads everywhere.

    It’s typically a great company. I just bought a toy for my son at Amazon and it broke within minutes. The return policy in place was phenomenal, and I quickly was told my refund has been processed.

    I guess we’ll never know why Amazon is stubborn on this issue, but the more Dads respectfully speak up on the matter, the less chance it will happen again with other merchants.

  4. I have to agree with Dave that if they could do it for Amazon UK, they could do it here. While things have changed, assuming the Dad is involved with anything other than sports is pretty much still the hard and fast rule. Schools have a “room mom” in most cases when they could have a “room parent.” The PTA (which I’m an active supporter of) talks about PTA Moms, has lots of feminine bling, and usually has female oriented thank you gifts. Retail is still directed at the women, so it would have been nice for Amazon to step up and recognize that we are not all “Moms” out here.

  5. Great article…

    You mentioned the UK based Amazon Family and cite them as a good example of not just being for mums (I’m in Australia so using UK English). But I draw your attention to Mothercare who (according to Wikipedia) is “a British retailer which specialises in products for expectant mothers and in general merchandise for children up to 8 years old.” But like most baby/small children retailers, what they offer for “expectant mothers” is only a very small percentage (maternity wear, nursing pads) as opposed to what they offer expectant or established parents.

    Although it was back in 2007 that Mothercare bought out the company ELC (Early Learning Centre), it was only in 2012 that all of the ELC stores across Australia were re-branded as Mothercare stores. I used to shop at ELC and still did whilst I had to finish spending my earned rewards in the Mothercare stores, but my loyalty switched to Baby Kingdom, Baby Warehouse, Baby Bunting and Babies R Us which seemed to fit my ethos.

    I feel so many things in the “parenting” industry are too mom (okay, I’m channeling my inner American now) focused. I wrote about that same thing here http://modernfatheronline.com/2013/07/11/dads-are-parents-too/ and it’s funny that I called my blog Dads Are Parents Too and you used that very phrase because the main thing us Dad Bloggers are saying is exactly that.

    I originally wrote that blog back in January 2013 where it was first published on an Australian parenting site back in February 2013. Again when I launched my blog-site-to-encompass-everything (should have just been one topic like I’m focusing on now) I published that article again in April 2013.

    I tell you this because I had a little Schadenfreude moment since my blog was first published. Mothercare in Australia went bankrupt and it now in receivership (what you Americans call Chapter 7 bankruptcy I believe; isn’t that what I see on your television shows???) So now we only have those stores with the focus on the Baby rather than the focus on the Mother (Uk or US, we can all agree on that spelling). It’s sad to see people lose their jobs, but these little victories might deserve a fist pump for equality now and then.

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