Father's Day consumer spending is estimated to be over $14 billion in 2016. It may not be as popular as Mother's Day, Father's Day can still be a huge opportunity for advertisers to establish a brand image, get more attention, or drive more engagement.
In fact, if done correctly, Father's Day ad campaigns can be perfect launchpads for new brands that are looking to make a mark.
Switch to Sentimentality
Humor has always been the go-to tool for brands when it comes to Father's Day ad campaigns. However, in recent years, we have seen a shift towards Father's Day ads being more sentimental and emotionally-driven.
For instance, Dockers, the men's clothing brand, is often associated with funny ads in their Father's Day ad campaigns. However, their 2016 ad campaign featured an emotional video of employees and friends recounting their best "Dad memories." The video was tied to Dockers' online campaign #AllAboutDad. This shift in strategy can perhaps be attributed to gender equality wars that are currently being waged socially throughout the world.
Other noteworthy campaigns that have been in a similar vein include Angel Soft's 2016 video, which was tied to their #BeSoftBeStrong online campaign; and Kleenex's 2016 Facebook ad campaign.
Social realism has been on the upswing in advertising in recent years. Experts attribute the trend to the rise of social media, alongside factors like the recession of 2008, which has made people wary of aspirational marketing.
You could ride the trend for Father's Day, like The Sound's 2016 campaign. The ad agency documents the everyday lives of 7 modern dads, using low production techniques that give the campaign more intimacy.
A similar campaign was done by Cheerios in 2014, with a lot of humor thrown in.
Humor Never Goes out of Fashion
Bonds, an Australian underwear retailer, went tongue-in-cheek for their 2016 Father's Day ad campaign, where dads lament the sacrifices they made during childbirth. Bonds has a history of doing creative campaigns that have subtle humor. Check out their infographic promoting their socks and underwear on Father's Day.
A Bad Example
While it is great to learn from your own mistakes when it comes to branding and online marketing you typically have limited chances. It is thus prudent to learn from others' mistakes, such as eBay. The company's 2015 email marketing campaign drew many people's ire with a subject line, "Your Dad Called, And He Approves Of These Deals," which was deemed insensitive and antagonizing.
If you are looking for email marketing ideas for your Father's Day ad campaigns, this 2015 MailChimp blog post is a lot better for inspiration.
It's All About Creating a Bond
If you look at all successful Father's Day ad campaigns online in recent years, you will notice that brands that have created an emotional bond have been the most successful.
As is the norm with social marketing and advertising, overt selling seldom works. Create a dialogue with your target audience to gain their trust and eventually, they will flock to you.