family-unit

How do we define a family? 

This question has been studied by anthropologists, psychologists, novelists, and many others -- to varying conclusions. But the main question for today is: how does our definition of a "family" influence the way we portray families in advertising and marketing? And is our portrayal accurate? 

In 1972, 60% of households were made up of what we used to think of as the "traditional" family unit: a husband who financially supports the family, a stay-at-home mom, and children. 

Today, that same family unit accounts for 4% of households. 

This information comes from a new report from Havas Worldwide, which surveyed 6,767 men and women in more than 20 markets worldwide. 

The fact is that the family unit does not have one definition, and the attitudes that marketers once relied on to connect with mothers, fathers, parents, grandparents, etc., no longer apply. 

Get to know the priorities, preferences, and wants of the new family unit:

Key Findings From the Report

74% of people said their family is a source of joy. 64% cited comfort as the top emotion they associate with family. 

And 1 in 5 millennials would actually go back in time and be born into a different family if given the option.

53% of people think that technology and the internet are ruining childhood. twitter-logo

48% of people think the Increase in single-parent households is harming society.

51% of people believe it is better to marry someone who holds the same religious beliefs. 

58% of millennials believe parents should raise their children in a gender-neutral way so as not to impose rigid gender restrictions. twitter-logo

33% of people age 18-34 believe marriage will one day be obsolete. twitter-logo

In France, those living alone make up 33% of household, while households with a married couple and children account for 27%.

The percentage of children under three years old who are enrolled in childcare more than doubled between 2000 and 2012.

Nearly one-third of people consider pets to be part of the family. twitter-logo

65% of women think single people have just as much of a right to adopt children as married couples. 

69% of millennials said it’s important for parents to instill in their children a sense of spirituality.

One-third of millennials said they sometimes feel closer to their coworkers than to their own families. 

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Originally published Jan 20, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016