In-Store Tops Advertising As Influencer Of Father's Day Purchases

Although only 60% of children celebrate Father's Day, more than two-thirds of those that do put more money and effort into celebrating mom than they do dad, according to Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pulse Opinion Survey.

Still, total spending for Father’s Day is projected to be $12.5 billion this year, compared with an estimated $19.9 billion for Mother’s Day, reports the National Retail Federation (NRF). 

Some 64% of children plan to get their dad a card, says NRF. More than four in 10 said they plan to get dad clothing such as a sweater or tie, and an additional 43% plan to celebrate with special outings such as dinner or a tickets to a sporting event. 

And while there may be a flood of TV advertising to influence Father's Day purchases, children rely primarily on their own pre-shopping and in-store observations when selecting a Father’s Day gift (52%), says Horizon Media. Family and friends are the next most trusted source for ideas and advice (42%), followed by retailer Web sites (35%), magazine/newspaper advertisements (24%), and advertising on television (22%).

“While in-store experience and word of mouth rise to the top on the influence scale,” says Kirk Olson, VP of TrendSights, Horizon Media. “It’s important to recognize that advertising for Father’s Day is still effective. As we near the holiday, cost-effective advertising investments in male-centric print and spot television may help drive incremental sales. That’s where retailers are most likely to inspire men to ask for what they want or honor their own fathers.”

Indeed, rather than focusing on one specific medium, the most effective tactic to influence Father's Day purchases is an integrated campaign. "The fact that retailer websites rank so highly represents low-hanging fruit for retailers," says Olson. "As marketers roll out the usual deals on golf clubs, flat screens, tablet PCs and backyard grills, using owned digital environments and earned media to encourage men to buy for their dads will be integral to building incremental sales.”

More than half of those who celebrate Father's Day (58%) typically see their father in person, says Horizon Media. Men are more likely than women to make face-to-face visits (74% vs. 49%).

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