As marketers, we target moms and their “Chief Household Officers” status: The decision maker on everything from groceries to banking to vacation planning. We target young singles and their disposable incomes for movies, video games and fast food. We target men during sporting events to sell trucks, beer and… well, trucks. But what about DADs, per se? Besides a few niche blogs (Urban Daddy, for example), there’s a marketing void when specifically targeting dads.
Yesterday was Father’s Day (quick, send that card if you forgot!). In the days and weeks leading up to Father’s Day, few brands make concerted pushes beyond altering newspaper ad headlines. There are always a few gift guides chock-a-block full of various BBQ tools, grooming kits and _________ (fill in the blank) of the month clubs. The tool companies make a big push full of hammer-hammer-saw-saw-cliché, cliché… cliché.
Holiday-happy, real-time marketing to the rescue! Right? Let’s have a look at some of the notable socially fueled Father’s Day social efforts… and how they focused their messaging.
A couple that caught my eye:
— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) June 21, 2015
A few other standout campaigns:
- Johnsonville did the standard “give Dad breakfast in bed” post… that started that way. It then spun into a Ground Hog’s Day-esque, Adult Swim-type horror scene.
- I am personally a huge fan of brands tag-teaming on social media efforts. Southwest Airlines and Coke teamed up for a feel-good video to honor Dad… and the little things in life.
- Craftsman (and yes, tools are a little cliché) teamed up with IAVA to drive Instagram followers to raise awareness for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
- And Dove, yes… again, Dove tugged on our collective heartstrings to show the softer side of today’s Gen-X and Gen-Y fathers.
While the real winners on Sunday were Dads (social channels were flooded with images of retro mullets, butterfly collars and love for fathers), brands that went the extra mile reaped the most engagement and buzz in the worlds’ crowded news feeds.
Is it wrong to shoot the layup and post a jpeg with “Happy Father’s Day” to Facebook? No – but it is easy to fall into the trap of using social media as a push-marketing bullhorn. Winning brands on any holiday understand that social media must employ messaging that creates ripples in either the form of activation, real engagement, to a heavy investment in standout and shareable creative. That’s how social pops.