DADvertising: Dads and Ads Globally

The portrayal of dads in the past decades have shaped the way advertisers communicate to them.


The most recent dad-focused campaigns mimic the shift in the attitude towards the changing roles of fathers at home. Since women are now becoming active in the work force, fathers are already sharing more parenting duties at home. Brands are taking this opportunity to talk to fathers and mothers more equally.

“Being an involved dad isn’t a trend. It’s just the way things are today.” – Izzy’s dad, BabyCenter Community

Societal changes re-mold the traditional media portrayals of masculinity.

Toyota had a tear-jerker in which a dad, with his daughter beside him in a Camry, remembers various times he courageously came to her aid. It ends with him dropping the equally intrepid young woman at the airport as she joins the Army. Nissan depicted a similarly emotional story of a racecar driver and his relationship with his son as the boy grows up. And Dove advertised its line of men’s products with a montage of fathers playing with or helping their children, which ended with the tagline “What makes a man stronger? Showing that he cares.”

The time fathers spend caring for their children is increasing per week since 1965. In fact, the newer generation of dads is now embracing household chores and grocery shopping. This phenomenon changes how men look at masculinity. Brands globally are also curating their communications by painting a “more real” portrait of dads – re-crafting the traditional portrayal of a tough/very masculine fathers.

“We know that accurately depicting consumers, versus relying on outdated societal stereotypes, resonates best,” says Jennifer Bremner, director of marketing at Unilever

New attitudes of fatherhood trigger fresh brand choices.

In the recent study of Google, the younger generation of dads are relying on the internet when it comes to parenting tips and tricks. 6 out of 10 dads are accessing parenting information most often through their mobile phones and computers. This opens up opportunities for big and small brands to be more active online.

Thought Starters:

  1. TVCs and digitally led campaigns are dominated by mom-centric campaigns. After reading some of these insights, how do we, as a brand, create a space to communicate to dads?
  2. Since dads are now actively participating in keeping the household and caring for their children, how do we use this to our advantage when it comes to our brands?
  3. How do we inject our brands in the most sought-after sites dads rely on?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *