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Celebrating Dads: Iconic Ad Campaigns That Show Dad Some Love

In ode to Father's Day we're turning the spotlight on some iconic ad campaigns that have paid tribute to dads in the most creative and touching ways. These campaigns not only tugged at our heartstrings but also showcased the power of thoughtful, dad-centric advertising - that reinforces brand platforms and beliefs while also celebrating all types of dads. Dove Men+Care – "Real Strength"

Dove’s "Real Strength" campaign is one of many connected campaigns that Dove is known for. This particular one came out in 2015, and is a masterclass in redefining masculinity and fatherhood. The campaign featured real fathers in authentic moments of care, from playing with their children to offering comfort and support. By showcasing these intimate, relatable moments, Dove successfully highlighted the strength in gentleness and the importance of active fatherhood.

Video source: Adforum

Why It Worked:

  • Emotional Connection: By focusing on real, tender moments, Dove created a deep emotional connection with viewers.

  • Challenging Stereotypes: The campaign broke away from traditional depictions of stoic, distant fathers, promoting a more modern and engaged form of fatherhood.

Gillette – "Go Ask Dad"

Gillette's "Go Ask Dad" campaign was a reminder of the invaluable wisdom that fathers impart.

This campaign came out in 2017 where it had become apparent that teens were turning to the internet for advice. This campaign encouraged them to seek guidance from their dads instead. The ads featured sons asking their fathers questions they would typically "Google", reinforcing the irreplaceable role of a dad’s advice.

Video source: Youtube

Why It Worked:

  • Relatability: The campaign tapped into the universal experience of seeking advice from parents.

  • Modern Twist: By addressing the modern tendency to rely on the internet, Gillette cleverly positioned dads as the ultimate resource for life’s questions.

Toyota – "My Bold Dad"

Toyota's "My Bold Dad" ad, which came out in 2013 was part of their Super Bowl campaign, and was a tearjerker that highlighted the courage and dedication of fathers. The ad followed a father-daughter duo through various life stages, ultimately showing the dad's unwavering support as his daughter embarked on new adventures.

Video source: Youtube

Why It Worked:

  • Narrative Storytelling: The ad used a compelling story arc that many could relate to, creating a powerful emotional journey.

  • Brand Alignment: Toyota’s message of reliability and support was perfectly mirrored in the depiction of the dad’s role, aligning the brand with these positive values.

Cetaphil – "Dads and Daughters" Super Bowl

This ad came out this year (2024) in time for the Superbowl and of course connected back to global population of Swifities without even having to mention her.

This ad beautifully captured the tender moments between fathers and their daughters - and how relationships can dwindle especially during those formidable teenage years. But with Cetaphil and the love for all things Taylor Swift.

Video source: Youtube

Why It Worked:

  • Heartfelt Imagery: The ad used touching visuals of father-daughter bonding to create an emotional resonance.

  • Product Integration: By showing dads using Cetaphil on their daughters, the ad effectively highlighted the product’s gentle, caring attributes.

  • Broad Appeal: The universal theme of a father’s love and care made the ad relatable to a wide audience.

Paisa Bazaar - Unbroken #AStoryOfAFatherAndSon

This ad came out in 2023 - just last year and captures the nuances of the Indian... and quite possibly the Asian... father-child relationship in most cases, and brings us back full circle to the beauty of the Asian family dynamic.

Video source: Youtube

Why It Worked:

  • Cultural Nuances: The ad really dug deep to efficiently portray the usual father-child relationship in India/ Asia.

  • Family: The ad flipped the role of the dad, and really brought in the importance of family, fatherhood and taking care of family.

AND to round it all up, if you haven't seen this yet. You're in for a tearjerker.

MetLife - "My Dad's Story"

MetLife's "My Dad's Story: Dream for My Child" came out in 2015 and this ad is a poignant and emotional narrative about a father's sacrifices for his daughter's future.

The ad, featuring a letter written by a young girl about her father's lies to protect her from the harsh realities of life, culminates in a touching reveal of his struggles and unending love.

Video source: Youtube

Why It Worked:

  • Heartfelt Storytelling: The narrative deeply resonates with viewers, highlighting the sacrifices parents make.

  • Emotional Impact: The ad's raw and honest portrayal of a father’s love and dedication tugs at the heartstrings.

  • Brand Message: MetLife effectively connects their brand to themes of protection and providing for loved ones.

Happy Father's day to all those dads out there that come in every form, shape and time. Thank you for continuing to show up, through good times and bad, through all the sacrifices and for giving with your arms wide open.

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