Marketing to the Modern Day Dad

It seems like in this day and age, there is a holiday for everything. Literally, if you Google “today’s food holiday” you are bound to find a holiday to your liking. In fact, this will stay true for every day of our 365-day year.  Heck, this past Tuesday (June 21) was National Selfie Day! Yes, that’s officially a day. And, it’s not surprising that some of our favorite news sources have capitalized on this ridiculous “holiday.” Nonetheless, many holidays have been around since before I was in diapers and will live on long after I’m gone. And, those holidays will be targeted by brands through marketers, advertisers and news sources in what they hope is a new and compelling way every year. This past Sunday, many of us celebrated what in my opinion is deemed to be one of the more important holidays in our country, Father’s Day.happy father's dayLeading up to June 19 this year, marketers attempted to pinpoint how dad’s behavior has changed throughout the past year. While the typical dad gifts like cars, ties, grills, hardware tools and electronics will sell on-shelf, brands are noticing a change in the modern-day, 2016 dad. According to Ad Week, fatherhood is being redefined. It shouldn’t be surprising that dads are spending more time with their kids as well as spending more money by doing the household shopping. For every hour moms spend grocery shopping, dads spend 54 minutes, according to the American Time Use Survey. And where do dads find out what to buy or learn tips about their kids? You guessed it, social media! The Dad Connection on Social is a real thing –men are far more active on social as fathers than before they had kids. In today’s world, it’s vital for brands to market on social media if they want to connect with dad.

Although, it is two-fold. Not only do brands need to target dads through social media, but they need to do it not just through a screen, well yes, it is technically through a screen, but harnessing an emotional connection through the screen. According to a fellow colleague’s recent Buzz Bin post and PRWeek article, “Daddy, you love your phone more than me,” you must establish a real connection to build trust with a brand, and that’s what marketers attempted to do this past Father’s Day.

There are a handful of brands that have hit their emotional stride on social media this year – Gillette’s #GoAskDad campaign that encourages kids to ask dad advice about everyday life or AllState Insurance’s #HerestoFirsts, which highlights a daughter’s first bike ride. Even alcohol companies are emotionally empowering men. According to this Man Vs. Cocktail piece, the 2016 market is primed with products that empower men to redefine masculinity in the cocktail sphere.

So, what does this all mean for years to come? Time will tell! What we do know is that the landscape is constantly changing. Many holiday’s will come and go, although, I’m fairly certain Father’s Day will always remain. What brands come up with for 2017 is a mystery for now – only 360 days to understand new behaviors and how to target them. Although, I’d bet money brands will use social media to pull at those heartstrings to get their point across!

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