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Study by AOL’s Platform-A and OMD Finds that Today’s ‘Supermoms’ Pack 27 Hours of Activities into 16-Hour Waking Day


New York, NY . – The new trend in superpowers may be the ability to create time. At least that’s what the “Supermoms” are doing. Today’s moms have become champion multi-taskers who are using mobile phones, the Internet and other media to help them pack 27 hours of activities – including eight hours spent with media – into 16 hours of waking time each day, according to a new study by AOL’s Platform-A and global communications agency OMD. The study, called “Living La Vida Rapida: Today’s Parents Living a Double Life at Double Time,” explored online moms’ lifestyles and media preferences, as well as how advertisers and marketers can leverage these insights to communicate with them more effectively. Platform-A,, is AOL’s digital advertising business.

The 27-Hour Day

The survey of more than 7,000 moms around the world found that the average online mom has become a master multi-tasker, conducting a combined 27 hours of activities in a single day – including work, family, surfing the Internet, chores, eating, shopping and so on.

These moms reported spending eight hours a day using media, including 2.6 hours on the Internet, 2.1 hours watching television, 1.2 hours listening to the radio and half an hour each day spent with newspapers, magazines and games.

Moms rely on the Internet for task-oriented parenting. Parenting is the No. 1 online activity cited by moms, ahead of search, e-mail and news. More than half (58%) said they prefer the Internet for getting parenting information and advice, and 55% said they preferred the Internet as a resource for helping their children learn. Nearly three quarters of moms (73%) say that it’s important for them to monitor what their children do online.

Moms also rely heavily on the Internet for a variety of other tasks, such as shopping (79% cite the Internet as the preferred medium), getting information (71%) and finding coupons or sales (52%).

“The increasing significance of the Internet to moms will only continue, given that younger moms who come from a generation that grew up with the Internet are reporting much higher levels of usage than older moms,” said Anne Hunter, Vice President of Platform-A’s ADlytics group.

Single moms spend significantly more time with media – an average of 9.5 hours per day – versus moms who have a spouse or partner (7.9 hours per day). Similarly, lower income mothers spend roughly an hour more (8.9 versus 8.0 hours per day) with media than middle- and higher-income moms.

When it comes to personal time, moms report spending just 1.4 hours of that 27-hour day on themselves.

Other findings

Most online moms (86%) report being the primary household decision maker, making them an important target audience for marketers and advertisers. More than half (52%) say they tend to recommend good products and / or brands to others.

The vast majority of moms (95%) use at least one type of media with their children once a week. TV is the most common medium moms share with their children (79%), followed by the Internet (62%), mobile phone (58%), digital camera (48%), e-mail (38%) and games (33%).

Despite their many responsibilities, these moms tend not to see themselves as “Supermoms.” In fact, just 38% described themselves as a “super mom.”

Emotional connections with media

The survey also found that moms have strong emotional associations with different media, which can impact the effectiveness of ads targeted at these moms.

* Television and radio primarily evoke “entertained” and “relaxed” feelings.
* Magazines evoke “interested” and “relaxed” emotions.
* Newspapers evoke “focused” and “interested” feelings.
* Online search is related to feelings of “task-oriented,” “focused” and “interested.”
* Web sites often related to “entertainment.”

“One implication of the study findings is that in order to maximize an advertisement’s impact and effectiveness to moms, it must not only be relevant but also reach moms through media they trust and in contexts where they are receptive to the messaging. For example, TV, radio, newspaper and certain forms of new media register high trust and ad acceptability ratings,” said Mike Hess, Global Director of Communication Insights and Research at OMD. “It’s also important for marketers to consider how moms use various media. They look to the Internet and magazines for parenting information and advice, and TV, magazines and the Internet are most likely to influence purchases across a variety of categories.”

For moms there is also a high correlation between ad acceptance and trust in the medium, providing a tremendous opportunity for marketers to maximize the impact of their advertising.

In 2008, OMD and Platform-A partnered with Ipsos to conduct qualitative and quantitative research with online moms around the world. More than 7,000 moms ages 18+ with home Internet access in 13 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific were surveyed about their personal values, family dynamics, purchase habits and advertising preferences in order to gain insight into the reality of being a parent in today’s society, the role of media in parenting and how that differs around the world.


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