First things first: Father’s Day is June 18th! This might seem like an unnecessary reminder, but the holiday still lags behind Mother’s Day in overall customer awareness so the date might bear repeating. While it may not have quite the same amount of hype as other holidays, Father’s Day-focused advertising can be useful for a variety of reasons:
- It’s a great pretext to reach out to new customers or reengage old ones, especially for holiday-adjacent verticals like cookware, health and fitness, travel, electronics, or apparel.
- To kickoff a long tail Summer-focused campaign
- As a performance strategy with room for storytelling and creating emotional customer ties
- To pressure-test audience segmentation effectiveness over the course of a short, focused campaign
To be fair, Father’s Day has shown consistent spending growth YOY (even during the pandemic), with Millennials setting records as the biggest historical spenders during Father’s Day and continuing to outpace other generations across most categories. So let’s take a look at the trends, KPIs, and best practices to follow for your Father’s Day marketing strategy.
Father’s Day Shoppers: Last minute (or downright late)
While 80% of US shoppers report their intent to shop for Father’s Day this year, historical data indicates they will do so at the very last minute or even up to 2 weeks late. That means advertisers should build an omnichannel strategy that can accompany their audiences across customer touch points before, during, and after Father’s Day.
More than anything, shoppers are looking for ideas for meaningful gifts that both stand out of the pack and are curated for their convenience. Ahem. A successful Father’s Day ad should focus on targeted, concise, graphic messaging around a small selection of goods or services with a strong emotional arc to promote brand authenticity and product recall.
As inflation and digital retail continue to disrupt traditional retail mechanisms, brand loyalty continues to crumble. A recent study by consulting firm McKinsey reveals that a whopping 75 percent of consumers have tried new shopping behaviors in the last year, citing convenience and value as king. That means this Summer’s consumer sales are yours to win, with the right channels and strategies.
Performance campaigns, ahem, perform better for Father’s Day
Although impactful messaging and a positive customer experience can turn Father’s Day shoppers into loyal brand ambassadors, the major tenets of your Father’s Day campaign should focus on more traditional “performance” metrics and tactics extended a few weeks past the holiday so they can transition into Summer. Make it a one two punch so your fathers day creative can coherently lead into your follow up Summer campaign.
Video advertising, whether on social media, digital display, DOOH (Digital Out Of Home), or streaming advertising is especially impactful for this type of emotionally charged, performance campaign. Just make sure you fully leverage every tool in your arsenal to both make an impact on holiday-specific sales and hang on to customers long-term. Here are the performance tactics that can help your campaign really shine:
- Hyper targeting. Audience segmentation and targeting has finally expanded beyond 3rd and1st party cookies to household IP tracking so all video media, from social to TV to Out of Home can target and track audiences by location, interest, household income, demographic, and more. Because you will be working on a tight timeline, it will be important to keep your ads as relevant as possible. Start with a campaign template that can be simply tweaked to fit as targeted an audience as possible, and work with a platform that allows multivariate campaign delivery to both increase customization and facilitate testing.
- Real time optimization. Granted, your Father’s Day campaign shouldn’t extend much beyond three or four weeks, but digital channel results should be coming in fast and furious after just a few days online. Monitor these results closely and tweak as you go. You would be surprised what a slight word change in a CTA or the gender or nationality of a performer can do to your customer engagement rate.
- Campaign specific promo codes. Monitor video engagement with channel and ad-set specific QR codes or promos so you can monitor incremental progress without having to rely on infamously untrustworthy last touch attribution or complicated MMM (Marketing Mix Modeling).
- Retargeting. You read that right! Retargeting is no longer the exclusive purview of annoying Payless Shoe ads following you around the internet. Native social media content, in-stream CTV (Connected TV), and Digital Out Of Home can all retarget your existing customers (or exclude them from your campaign to reach a net new audience) on the biggest screens inside and outside the home. Just make sure to install the appropriate tracking software for whatever platform you choose to work with. Activate retargeting campaigns earlier to increase repeat site visits and speeding up your sales cycle.
- Pixel tracking and optimization by audience segment. Track and manage your ROAS, VTR, conversions, and CPC for all campaigns, even out of home or on TV, thanks to simple pixel tracking. In the last 5 years, high-value purchases have typically been made the week following Father’s Day, so keep your campaigns (and pixels) on to compete for these valuable conversions.
Leveraging New Video Channels for Father’s Day
Digital Out Of Home
Out of Home advertising has come a long way over the past few years, thanks in large part to the rise of Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) billboards and geo-fencing. New self-serve providers like Blip, for example, now allow advertisers to optimize, target, and track campaign KPIs more efficiently and economically.
This Father’s Day, control your cost and scale your campaign fast with programmatic digital billboard campaigns that can deliver relevant ads to targeted audiences at the perfect moment when they walk or travel past the digital signage, and respond coherently to your ads running on other, complementary channels.
Today, in a mature streaming market with a large inventory of premium content, CTV ad platforms are bringing together the very best of television advertising - unskippable ads, engaged audiences, large screen with audio on, premium content - with the granular targeting and measurement capabilities of digital advertising.
This transition is nothing less than a radical paradigm shift for both television and digital marketers, who will need to reexamine how they set campaign goals, target audiences, and measure ROI.
For your Father’s Day campaign this year, we recommend targeting your ads for shoppers between 35 and 44, segmented by gender. Historically, male shoppers have purchased fewer items at higher price points, while female shoppers have purchased items for three or more recipients at slightly lower price points. Keep that in mind when choosing which products or services to highlight for each segment!
Your channel mix will have to reflect your product category and customer types of course, but here are some of the best channels to advertise on for Father’s Day according to data from 2022:
- Sports: ESPN, NBC Sports, FOX Sports
- Family: Hallmark, Cartoon Network
- News: CNN, CBS, Fox News, BBC
- Lifestyle: HGTV, Food Network, Bravo
- Movies: AMC, TNT
- Men's Interest: Discovery Channel, History Channel, or National Geographic TV
Ultimately, the type of campaign you decide to run for Father's Day will depend on the products and audiences your business deals with, but developing a strong performance-driven strategy with a focus on video, A/B testing, and hyper-targeting is a sure way to kick off your Summer season with a bang.