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Happy Father’s Day! The Norwegian Way

In Norway, USA on June 17, 2011 by Sanibelle

This Sunday, we’ll celebrate dear old Dad with some good old-fashioned American traditions. Perhaps a family BBQ, or a fishing trip. Maybe we’ll give him a tie for the 20th year in a row, or a Hallmark Card with pre-written expressions of love and gratitude.

But in Norway, their celebration of Dads (and Moms) goes beyond the belated e-Card. Norway is notorious for showering parents with amazing benefits.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

  • Both parents in Norway get an automatic two weeks off after a birth.
  • Then, they are offered a combined 46 weeks of fully paid leave or 56 weeks at 80% of their normal pay.
  • Later this year the maximum leave will expand to 57 weeks, with 12 weeks for the father.
  • Beyond having a guaranteed job to return to, they also are provided with extensive day-care options, a 37.5-hour work week, and an extra government grant should one of the parents decide to stay at home with the child from age 1 to 2.

Talk about a celebration of parenthood. It makes the annual Dad’s Day Golf Outing seem pretty weak in comparison.

So what does this mean for marketers? Not only are Norwegians doting moms and dads, they’re web-savvy. Norwegians have some of the highest ranked social networking statistics. They have 94.8% internet penetration, and they regularly use blogging and social media to communicate. Yet, while engagement is high, local businesses still haven’t quite implemented social media as part of their communication strategy.

Thus, the insight: Amazing Parental Benefits + Social Media Fluency = An Untapped Resource for any company marketing in Norway: Mommy and Daddy bloggers.

“Mommy Blogging” has been the marketing buzzword for years now, and “Daddy Blogging” is beginning to gain steam in the states.

So far, this phenomenon hasn’t migrated across the Atlantic in a big way. But, with a little digging (and a lot of help from Google Translate) I was able to find a few Norwegians who have been bitten by the blogging bug.

Kristine Hardeberg

Meet Kristine Hardeberg (pictured at left), who covers everything from fine art to family Easter Egg hunts in her blog. Or Rolf-Arne Schulze (pictured below), who chronicles his weight-loss while working and raising a family.

Rolf-Arne Schulze

So, say Proctor and Gamble wanted to take a little bit of Unilever’s hold on the European home-goods market,  and introduced a new line of diapers in Norway. Why not start a grassroots- style Mommy and Daddy blogging campaign to generate interest during their paid leave?

Word will spread, diapers will be tested, and the lone stars of the Mommy and Daddy blogging revolution in Norway will gain value for their audience.

Beats getting another “#1 Dad” coffee mug.

Happy Father’s Day, indeed.

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3 Responses to “Happy Father’s Day! The Norwegian Way”

  1. There were a lot of things to like about this post. Not only did you find an interesting and original angle and topic to write about this week, you linked it to something that was topical for anyone paying attention to all the media around Father’s Day on Sunday. The result was another strong post where your writing style drew the reader in as you linked the research you did to a strong insight about the culture in Norway and what that might teach any brand.

    You then mapped this insight to a few prospective brands and shared some real examples to bring your idea to life. A few pieces of feedback that might make this even stronger: be careful about drawing a conclusion that may be a bit too convenient. I’m not sure that I get (or believe) the connection between great parental benefits and the capacity or desire to blog. The fact that parents get these benefits is great for family life, but the inspiration to start a blog and actively do it is likely based on something else – otherwise every parent with extra time thanks to the benefits would take it up.

    The other point to consider in terms of your conclusion is that brands would really need to get a sense of how big the audience is for these blogs in the first place. They may get a first mover advantage (as you suggest) by working with these growing influencers – but understanding how many people they actually influence will be crucial.

    Outside of these points, great post. (5)

  2. I also though this was an excellent post and definitely stood out to me: a current event, linked to a Norwegian trend, linked to a global online trend, linked back to relevant brands. Well done!

  3. This was an interesting post, indeed, and you write really well!
    Being Norwegian, but having lived many years abroad, in France, USA, Switzerland, I easily see my country from an outside perspective.
    Thanks for mentioning my blog, by the way.
    Wishing you a wonderful summer.

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