Brands applied a number of Super Bowl lessons to their Mother’s Day content to make it a success. They pre-seeded content well in advance of the holiday, for one. They also took advantage of consumers’ fondness for emotionally charged content and delivered sweet, tear-inducing tributes to moms.
But brands have traditionally relied on humor, not emotion, in their Father’s Day messaging. Would Father’s Day advertisers be able to find success by applying the same Super Bowl lessons as Mother’s Day advertisers?
While ads dedicated to dads didn’t generate nearly as much viewership as those dedicated to moms, Father’s Day viewership saw a notable increase this year. Branded videos around the holiday barely made a blip last year; only one of the campaigns we highlighted last year has just now surpassed one million views. This year, Father’s Day campaigns garnered more than 27.4 million views, to date.
Following in the footsteps of Mother’s Day advertisers, Father’s Day advertisers started seeding their campaigns well in advance of the holiday. The first brand to release dad-themed content did so the day after Mother’s Day, May 12. However, the majority of brands waited until a little later in May and early June to debut their videos.
We also saw an increase in deeply emotional content this Father’s Day. Instead of relying on humorous dad stereotypes, many brands told stories about fathers who are nurturers and caregivers.
The most successful campaign of the holiday -- and now the most-viewed Father’s Day ad of all time -- played on an emotional appeal with great success. Dove Men+Care’s “Real Dad Moments” has now garnered nearly 12 million views. The video, a montage of moments featuring children with their fathers, celebrates all that dads do for their kids.
This kind of emotional content is undoubtedly responsible for the increase in viewership this Father’s Day. Advertising has long catered to women and, for many products, has made women (and moms specifically) the center of the action, while casting men (and dads in particular) as the silly sidekick. But this doesn’t match up with the reality, especially in a world today where more men are also primary caregivers. So even though viewers love humor, the reason that humorous Father’s Day ads weren’t working is because the emotion wasn’t authentic to the purpose of the holiday, which is meant to celebrate and thank dads for all that they do for us.
And while Father’s Day it is still not as viewed as some of its fellow “Hallmark Holidays” are -- it falls fourth after Mother’s Day (nearly 40 million views), April Fools’ Day (30.9 million views), and Valentine’s Day (29.5 million views) -- it still shows that there is a big opportunity for brands around these non-religious holiday events. Viewers enjoy holiday content -- especially emotional videos that can express those feelings that they have for their own loved ones -- and they are ready to watch and share it.