Father's Day is a big holiday for marketers. Americans spend $15.5 billion on gifts, gadgets, experiences and activities for dads every year – and advertisers spend $2 billion to win as much of that business as possible. If you want in on the action, it's time to start planning.
As you're concepting your ads for this holiday, be inspired by some of the best Father's Day ads from years past. Here's a round-up of our all-time favorites.
Carhartt's "Fathers on Fatherhood" Video Featuring Jason Momoa
Carhartt, typically a rough and tough outdoors brand, took a more heartwarming approach to their Father's Day promotions in 2017 – but the ad campaign really began a year earlier.
In 2016, Carhartt released a short film about Jason Momoa for their Carhartt Handmade Films series – a collection of shorts that show viewers a more personal side of popular personalities and how the outdoors shaped their character. You may know him as Khal Drogo from "Game of Thrones," but to his family, Momoa is a father and a hero. The video gives viewers an intimate look at Momoa's life off-camera and centers around the importance of his parents in his own life, as well as his approach to fatherhood.
The video was such a hit, Carhartt capitalized on its popularity months later to create a Father's Day special. They reused footage along with interviews with the production crew to create a special video celebrating dads in 2017. Not only did Carhartt connect with their target audience on the holiday, but they showed that you don't have to create an entirely new story and marketing campaign to have an effective Father's Day ad; you might already have all the assets you need.
Buffalo Wild Wings' "Watching" Commercial
Most people know Buffalo Wild Wings for their ads that promote beer, chicken wings and sports. But on Father's Day in 2017, the brand showed us another (much softer) side of their personality.
Buffalo Wild Wings' "Watching" commercial features a father-daughter duo watching sports at home, the girl imitating everything she sees her dad do. It proves the power father's have on their children and gets at the emotional connection families develop while watching sports – a perfect way to leverage Buffalo Wild Wings' sports-centric brand values to celebrate fatherhood.
Not only do we love the video ad, but we love that Buffalo Wild Wings shows how much range a strong brand can have. For just one day, they abandoned their typical beer-and-sports style to tell a much more intimate, emotional story. They did so flawlessly, proving the dimensionality of their brand and giving audiences something else to love.
Dove's First Fatherhood Moments Video
For Dove, taking advantage of a holiday that celebrates men is a big deal. While the brand is most known for its women's lines of soaps and shampoos, Dove has an extensive line of men's care products. They have to work hard to break the perception that they're a women-only brand – which means they usually go big on Father's Day. In 2015, they did just that.
The compilation video they released on social media features real footage of men beginning their journeys into fatherhood as they learn their partners are pregnant. The tagline brings the campaign full circle: "Care makes a man stronger." Dove used their positive, uplifting brand vibes to tell a different kind of story and reach a male audience. This campaign is a great example of how companies can leverage and grow an existing set of brand values to expand their target audience on Father's Day.
Bonds' "Think of Fathers" Video
Father's Day campaigns don't have to be heartwarming. Bonds, an Australian underwear company, proves they can be just as effective when funny.
The company's 2016 Father's Day video ad, "Think of Fathers," puts a humorous spin on fatherhood. It features five dads, seated in a support-group style circle, wearing nothing but Bonds underwear, unloading their (fake) fatherly stresses – stretch marks, late-night feedings, swollen ankles and more. The video pokes fun at fatherhood, offering a more playful message that's in line with their brand.
Angel Soft's "Just Dad" Commercial
Not many Father's Day ads tell the story of single parents, but in 2017, Angel Soft did, and they knocked it out of the park. Their commercial chronicles the story a father and daughter over the course of her lifetime – from infancy through high school and everything in between. It shows a unique perspective of fatherhood; as the only parent, the father in their video navigates conversations and experiences that would traditionally be had with mom – going into a women's restroom to use a changing table, teaching his daughter to shave her legs, consoling her after a bad date.
Throughout the video, Angel Soft seamlessly incorporates their product into the story, comparing the balance of strength and softness that's needed for fatherhood to their product. The company successfully told a different Father's Day story and wove their brand value into the mix. Two thumbs up, Angel Soft.
As you're planning your Father's Day advertising campaign, consider leveraging some of the tips and tricks these brands used. Reuse existing content, expand your target audience or explore a side of your brand you may not otherwise feature in traditional marketing campaigns. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of ways you can get creative this Father's Day.