Canadian Dad Bloggers Bring Influencer Marketing into the Modern Day
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Dad 2.0 Summit Brings Fatherhood Into the Modern Age

Chris Farley Ratcliffe is a Canadian dad blogger at and a parent to three girls. Chris writes about fatherhood, kids and current issues, and has partnered with Veritas to cover the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Diego.

Today I am heading to San Diego to attend the sixth annual Dad 2.0 Summit.

The Dad 2.0 Summit is an annual conference where marketers, social media leaders, and blogging parents connect to discuss the changing voice and perception of modern fatherhood.

While the majority of the more than 400 men who will be attending the summit are American, there will be a contingent of Canadian dads at the conference to connect with our fellow dad influencers. We’ll be there to make and renew relationships and learn more about working together with brands that support our desire to make the world a better place for our kids.

Fatherhood is evolving and we seek to reflect and enhance the changes taking place. In Canada, according to the Vanier Institute of the Family:

  • More dads are taking parental leave (27% in 2014 as compared to 3% in 2000).
  • More dads are choosing to be the primary parent, with fathers representing 11% of stay-at-home parents in 2014 as compared to 1% in 1976.
  • Canadian dads are absent more frequently from work due to family reasons. Fathers with kids aged five and under reported missing two days of work in 2015 (up from 1.2 days in 2009) due to personal or family responsibilities.

Men are taking on more parenting responsibilities and are getting more involved in their kids’ lives. Men are increasing their contributions to household work and decisions. Anecdotally, in my neighbourhood I see a significant proportion of kids being dropped off or walked to school by dads. More of us are taking on equal or primary responsibilities for grocery shopping and meal planning.

We are a relatively small, but growing group of dad influencers in Canada and we, along with our counterparts in the U.S., are representative of the demographic spectrum of fatherhood. While we as a community may have diverse opinions on a wide range of subjects, we all want to improve as parents, and for dads to be recognized as equal parents. Most of us aim to be more engaged than our fathers’ generations and do better for our kids. While I am a Gen X we see this trend continuing and growing with the Millennial dads coming along behind us who have grown up with a more ingrained expectation of equal parenting.

Dad influencers cover the scope of modern fatherhood. We are married, divorced, dads fighting for custody, adoptive dads, step-dads, dads living with mental or physical health challenges, gay dads and straight dads. Some of us write, podcast or vlog as a way to express our creativity, and others to generate an income and support our families. There are dad influencers who passionately express their opinions about causes and political issues and others who exclusively produce content that is sponsored.

As dads we look out for products and brands that support us as parents and that can help us to do our jobs raising healthy, happy, safe kids. As influencers we seek opportunities to help our fellow dads make decisions about brands and products that help us serve our needs and those of our families.

Of the roughly 60 dad influencers in Canada (that we are aware of) we have a wide scope of experience. Some have been building their audiences for more that 20 years and others have started this year. Some are influencers who have shifted platforms and media over time and others are bloggers who are been writing on the same site throughout. In all cases we work to build communities and a strong base of followers who are interested in and trust our voices and messages.

When we work with brands we look for ways to build on the trust and relationships we have with our communities of parents – moms and dads alike – and share our thoughts on each product or experience with honesty and creativity. We are interested in partnering with brands who believe in dads and recognize the value of our respective perspectives.

The Dad 2.0 Summit is an annual opportunity for us to come together and learn. There will be opportunities to learn about working more closely with brands, new technologies and tools, and think about things like confirmation bias and how to express opinions in our politically charged times. In between all of that, we get the chance to talk with other dads, share stories and build relationships.

I’m particularly looking forward to the opportunity to chat with representatives from all the sponsors, and participating in these sessions:

Where We Are: Fatherhood
After two groundbreaking reports, Promundo has provided parents and policymakers with a comprehensive look at worldwide male caregiving. Experts will parse the data collected on fatherhood, suggest the data that is further needed, and recommend bold initiatives to help the modern fatherhood movement expand and diversify.

Where We Are: Influencer Marketing
In 2017, an overwhelming majority of brands will incorporate social influencers into their marketing plans. Trust has emerged as a precious commodity, and as the industry braces for a breakout year, this panel of professionals will map out how brands and bloggers can best position themselves to ride the wave.

What Can I Say? The Uncertain Path to Advocacy
In the age of outrage, lending a platform to a cause can provoke a negative reaction from opponents and allies alike. The choice to stay neutral can be just as costly. A group of panelists, who come from a wide spectrum of experience and tactics, will discuss the ways forward, with no “splaining” allowed.

Follow along @VeritasComm to see updates from Dad 2.0 Summit. Photo credit to Amateur Idiot / Professional Dad.