NEW YORK/TORONTO: Fathers are a neglected opportunity for marketers, according to a new study that highlights their sometimes profligate spending habits, compared to mothers, and their greater brand loyalty.

Who's Your Daddy, from the Y&R marcoms business, combined proprietary data and syndicated research reports with a survey of 8,000 fathers across the US and Canada and found that dads are considerably less frugal than moms.

While more than half (52%) of moms look to buy products on sale, for example, just one third (33%) of dads do.

Further, 59% of dads felt that using coupons makes them look cheap, compared to 37% of moms (and 49% of childfree men).

Dads were also twice as likely as moms to buy the brands they believe are best, regardless of price (28% versus 13%).

Y&R went on to identify those brands most desired by US fathers, including, in order, Apple, UnderArmour, Nike, Netflix, iPad, Lexus, Lego, Levi's, Kobalt (tools) and Harley-Davidson.

Personal care items were also a focus for fathers as the study declared "the era of the beer-bellied, couch potato dad is over".

And millennials emerged as particularly hands-on fathers, with 80% claiming primary or shared grocery shopping responsibility, compared to 45% of all dads.

"Dads represent a massive untapped market for all sorts of household products and consumer packaged goods – from diapers to college dorm supplies – and they are largely overlooked by most brands," said Sandy Thompson, global planning director, Y&R.

"We see a real business opportunity for marketers who embrace dads as the hands-on family decision-makers they are while at the same time maintaining their masculinity."

Study author Kasi Bruno, svp & strategic planning director, Y&R Toronto, contrasted the level of support available to mothers with that given to fathers.

"Dads are actually more brand loyal than moms," she noted, "so the brands that act first to meet the needs of dads will be rewarded with their continued purchases for years to come."

Data sourced from BusinessWire; additional content by Warc staff