Sony markets to fathers with 'DigiDads'

A father and his son at a computer

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis In a bid to capitalize on the ever-expanding reach of the blogoshere, Sony has launched a new marketing site. It's targeted to dads who read parenting blogs. Sony's wading into some murky waters here, given the criticism that some Mommy bloggers have gotten lately for reviewing products they got for free, and not disclosing that fact. Sony says it's beyond all that. Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports.


Video Blog Sound: It's blogger. Blogger. Not blog-her. Blogger. I'm a blogger. Blog-her is that Mommy thing. I'm a Dad. D-A-D, dad.

Mitchell Hartman: So begins a video post from Jeff Sass. He blogs at Dadomatic, and is one of the writers on Sony's new DigiDad site. Sony is giving, or rather loaning, guys like Sass things like games and cameras. The deal is, they do a project -- say, a video montage of a family vacation -- then blog about it. When they're done, they ship the gadget back to Sony. Carl Howe with market-research firm The Yankee Group thinks Sony's doing this right.

CARL HOWE: When you start giving away products, when you start directing money to the writers, that's when you get into trouble.

The kind of trouble that's undermined trust in the Mommy blogosphere, says blogger Melissa Lion.

MELISSA LION: To start taking products and writing a great review of them in the hopes that you'll continue to get more products cheapens what blogging started out as.

Blogger Jeff Sass says Sony has no leverage over him.

Jeff SASS: And we're going to give our transparent opinions of what's good, what's bad, what worked, what didn't work.

Carl Howe says Sony's being smart about the transparency, and the marketing.

HOWE: What we're seeing with the rise of the Daddy blogs is there are some areas where men are the real decision makers. Gaming systems is clearly one of those. We'll see a little bit more emphasis on gadgets of all kinds. And, oh, by the way, cars too.

Mommy bloggers aren't getting much of that marketing love, says Melissa Lion. Most of the products pitched at them are things like diapers and laundry detergent.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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