Father’s Day Marketing: 3 Inspirational Brands Capturing The Moment

Toy­ota, Dove Men+Care, and TIME Mag­a­zine cap­ture the emo­tion of Father’s Day, a key mar­ket­ing moment.

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

This Sun­day, June 21, marks one of the most impor­tant days in the annu­al mar­ket­ing cal­en­dar: Father’s Day. Unlike Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is unit­ed in the Eng­lish speak­ing world (falling on the same day both in the U.S. and UK). so Father’s Day is bound to gar­ner sig­nif­i­cant reach on both sides of the Atlantic. Father’s Day is a pop­u­lar cel­e­bra­tion which is held in gen­uine regard by many. So which brands have best grasped the con­sumer mood, deliv­er­ing the best moments in recog­ni­tion of the spe­cial day?


Dad­ver­tis­ing, it seems, rep­re­sents a safe bet in 2015.

Those who fol­lowed the brand activ­i­ty around the Super Bowl ear­lier this year like­ly noticed a trend in growth of adver­tis­ing fea­tur­ing short, emo­tion­al films about people’s rela­tion­ships with their fathers. “Dad­ver­tis­ing” saw brands includ­ing Toy­ota, Nis­san, and Dove Men+Care putting out engag­ing, and high­ly shared and talked about videos. All three of the afore­men­tioned brands scored high­ly for their efforts in USA Today’s Ad Meter, and gained mil­lions of shares on YouTube to boot.

It stands to rea­son that Father’s Day is set to see a return of Dad­ver­tis­ing in a big way. Cer­tain­ly for Toy­ota and Dove Men+Care, which have reprised their Super Bowl cam­paigns with fresh con­tent, themes of father­hood are con­sid­ered a pos­i­tive con­ver­sa­tion for brands to have.

But when it comes to mar­ket­ing around Father’s Day, the key word is authen­tic. Father’s Day cel­e­brates one of the most per­son­al rela­tion­ships that peo­ple have, and it’s unlike­ly that peo­ple will appre­ci­ate being bom­bard­ed with dis­play ads or email cam­paigns adver­tis­ing dis­counts on socks, razors, or oth­er typ­i­cal “dad gifts.”

Here’s an overview of some of the most notable mar­ket­ing around Father’s Day 2015.

3 Inspirational Brands Capturing the Moment for Father’s Day

1. Toyota’s Father’s Day Redo #OneBoldChoice

Toyota’s “My Bold Dad” was arguably the biggest hit of the Super Bowl “dad­ver­tis­ers,” scor­ing a 6.6 on the Ad Meter. For Father’s Day, they’ve fol­lowed up the ad with a cou­ple of touch­ing new films explor­ing an emo­tion­al reunion between a father and son.

In the past few years, emo­tion­al sto­ry­telling has proved itself to be a fan­tas­tic medi­um for dig­i­tal video. Not only does it appeal to people’s emo­tions, it gives brands an oppor­tu­ni­ty to show the role they can play in con­sumers’ lives.

Toyota’s “Father’s Day Redo” is a fan­tas­tic exam­ple of a brand pre­sent­ing a cus­tomer-cen­tric vision of the sim­ple but mov­ing role that the brand can play in people’s lives. The Cam­ry is a mod­est fam­i­ly car that bridges dis­tances and allows peo­ple to con­nect.

The cam­paign is run­ning with the #OneBold­Choice hash­tag, and the video’s cap­tions also encour­age peo­ple to do more to show their appre­ci­a­tion on Father’s Day. How­ev­er, what con­sumers will like­ly take away from the cam­paign is the authen­tic­i­ty of Toyota’s mes­sag­ing, pre­sent­ing emo­tion­al doc­u­men­tary of real peo­ple (Toy­ota even spon­sored key influ­encers on YouTube), and the way they have ele­gant­ly cap­tured the spir­it of Father’s Day.

2. Dove Men+Care #RealStrength

Dove Men+Care and Toy­ota both adopt­ed a sim­i­lar strat­e­gy after the suc­cess of their Super Bowl cam­paigns.

Build­ing on their con­cept of #Real­Dad­Mo­ments, which has been a mas­sive online hit, Dove Men+Care have sourced viral videos show­ing mov­ing moments of men find­ing out they’re going to be a dad for the first time.

The genius of this cam­paign is that in col­lat­ing videos which have already proven them­selves to be a hit, the cam­paign is more or less ensured to be a suc­cess. In this sense, Dove Men+Care’s strat­e­gy for uti­liz­ing the YouTube plat­form, and work­ing with con­sumers to source authen­tic con­tent for their cam­paigns, is an incred­i­ble strat­e­gy that demon­strates what brands can do when they take a con­fi­dent approach to con­tent shar­ing net­works and con­sumer engage­ment.

3. TIME Magazine’s ‘Letters from Dad’

To cel­e­brate Father’s Day, TIME Mag­a­zine has pub­lished a series of let­ters from influ­en­tial fathers to their chil­dren, includ­ing the likes of hip-hop mogul Rus­sell Sim­mons, musi­cian Pete Wentz, actor Hank Azaria, and writer/director/producer Lee Daniels.

The let­ters are incred­i­bly mov­ing, and at times down­right inspi­ra­tional. For exam­ple, here’s what Wentz wrote:

Boys: always take the high road, even when the low road seems eas­ier or sim­pler. Let your kind­ness radi­ate and defend those who can­not defend them­selves. Be your­self when it is not pop­u­lar to be. Love your friends not in spite of their flaws but because of them. Bronx, I remem­ber once ask­ing you what your favorite col­or was and you said, “Red, black and the col­or of light­ning.” Nev­er let the world take away your cre­ativ­i­ty and diver­gent think­ing. Be the col­or of light­ing, be wild, and always laugh a lot. Nev­er for­get who you are.

Many of the let­ters cap­ture a sense of raw emo­tions, the love, pro­tec­tive­ness, and devo­tion, that father­hood entails. It’s a sim­ple cam­paign, but one that presents a real authen­tic­i­ty, and doesn’t com­pli­cate its mes­sag­ing with any obvi­ous agen­da.

The let­ters have been a hit on Twit­ter, spurring a great deal of pos­i­tive con­ver­sa­tion about Father’s Day.

Angel Soft Bucks the Trend #HappyFathersDayMom

One notable omis­sion from this list is Angel Soft’s #Hap­py­Fa­thers­Day­Mom cam­paign, which took up a unique stance on cel­e­brat­ing Father’s Day:

While the cam­paign has nat­u­ral­ly received a great deal of indus­try cov­er­age, it has also divid­ed opin­ion amongst con­sumers: angel-soft-youtube The cam­paign has sparked gen­uine con­ver­sa­tion, but per­haps at the expense of the feel-good mar­ket­ing that defines Toy­ota or Dove Men+Care’s cam­paigns. It may still prove to be a good move for Angel Soft, but the cam­paign took a risk in try­ing some­thing new, and not build­ing on the suc­cess of pre­vi­ous cam­paign con­tent like the two afore­men­tioned brands.

What Makes A Great Father’s Day Campaign?

What’s clear from the­se three exam­ples is that some of the key qual­i­ties for brands to cap­ture when engag­ing in a con­ver­sa­tion about Father’s Day, are authen­tic mes­sages and inspi­ra­tional sto­ries about pater­nal rela­tion­ships.

Greg Jar­boe, Pres­i­dent of SEO-PR and author of YouTube and Video Mar­ket­ing, explained why pro­vid­ing an emo­tion­al con­text via videos is par­tic­u­lar­ly effec­tive for brands:  “Over the years, numer­ous stud­ies have found that our brains are far more engaged by sto­ry­telling than a recita­tion of cold, hard facts. Sto­ries are illus­tra­tive, eas­i­ly mem­o­rable, and allow a brand to cre­ate stronger emo­tion­al bonds with cus­tomers. That’s why video is a con­tent marketer’s best medi­um for sto­ry­telling.”

Father’s Day is essen­tial­ly an event about one of the most per­son­al and unique rela­tion­ships that peo­ple have. Brands that wish to engage in such con­ver­sa­tions shouldn’t look at Father’s Day with a mind for quick wins, but instead a much more long-term strat­e­gy to build brand aware­ness and iden­ti­ty.

It’s clear why Toy­ota and Dove Men+Care have con­tin­ued to invest in Father’s Day con­tent. For them, brand iden­ti­ty is para­mount for them to con­tin­u­ing win­ning moments of truth, and con­sumer choice. Their con­tent ties their brand and pro­duct to the way peo­ple are feel­ing in a par­tic­u­lar moment, engag­ing a moment of of height­ened con­sumer emo­tion. TIME mag­a­zine has also man­aged to gen­er­ate an incred­i­ble sto­ry­line in the build up to this Sun­day.

All three brands have uti­lized gen­uine con­sumer reac­tions and sourced con­tent to deliv­er a sense of real authen­tic­i­ty. All three brands are fan­tas­tic exam­ple of cus­tomer-cen­tric mar­ket­ing, and the brands will undoubt­ed­ly enjoy a impor­tant moment of pos­i­tive con­ver­sa­tion around Father’s Day as a result.


What has been your favorite exam­ple of brand con­tent or con­ver­sa­tion around Father’s Day?

Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex’s data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

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