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With Father’s Day this weekend, we’re seeing a lot about the occasion on social media – but there’s one audience we’re not hearing from: Dads. So how are brands deciding what to market – and what’s on target – for the recipient of Father’s Day gifts? Let’s see what the sentiment tells us about it!

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

This isn’t just good gift-shopping advice, it’s a smart approach for brands for any upcoming holiday or event, in general – but more specifically, this certainly. applies to brands wanting to promote their wares as great rewards for deserving dads. And since dads aren’t sharing Father’s Day wish-lists on social media, this is an audience you need to track long before the holiday arrives. It’s a tough nut to crack.

One approach is to see how dads self-identify on social channels. This could be done using Twitter bio information, for example, or hashtags on Instagram like #FitDad, which describes one specific, self-identifying dad attribute we see on social.

The point is, there’s no difference between pleasing this demographic (and the multiple audience segments it comprises) on Father’s Day versus any other day. But understanding the things they care about in the day-to-day is what will help when it comes time to make those gift suggestions each June. And having ideas that resonate, and are targeted toward, your specific audience segments just makes sense.

Even celebrity dads on Twitter have diverse interests – and they’re just the tip of the iceberg:

So, what do we find when we click into the analytics? The hashtag #DadLife on Instagram reveals some interests of note, like:

And more.

Mostly, however, they just want to be good dads:

And spend quality time with their kids…

Still, plenty of brands are claiming to know what dads want – and perhaps they do. If they’ve done their AI analytics homework, they just might be on target. But, of course, they have to pitch these ideas to the audience of people shopping for dad – meaning wives, girlfriends, and children old enough to be on social media and shop.

Here’s a look at the many brands talking about Father’s Day with authority:

Note the prevalence of hashtags about contests and giveaways:

Is that the way to Dad’s heart? Hard to say. Though it seems most don’t care about the holiday, some will use it as a means to an end if they can:

Other brands, like Balvenie whisky, are talking up the making memories aspect – which is on target for what dads are really about. Balvenie is also using the contest aspect here as well, something Prezzybox is also employing, along with XChime doorbell.

Of note is the fact that all three items above skew to the female side audience-wise.

Does that mean the gifts aren’t a fit for dad? Not necessarily. It certainly does help target the women in dad’s life doing the shopping.

Of course, not all dads take themselves so seriously – as some articles on the subject claim. Is it possible the assertion that dads would rather something “weird” than useful is correct? If so, there are a bunch of items to choose from, that’s for sure.

Could you picture the dad in your life sitting by the pool in a merman tail, just waiting for the kids to join him is the ultimate “dad joke?” If so, this could be an amazing significant other gift – taking more of a ‘partner in crime’ approach:

And some dads would rather something thoughtful and practical – but cheap – rather than anything extravagant. Who better to listen to than another dad, right?

Brands are offering practical – and unusual options as well. How about a weather guide or maybe an apron?

It’s sometimes easier than listening to your own dad, regardless:

What brands need to remember is Father’s Day is one where consumers feel a little bit bitter about the marketing that surrounds it, so it’s important to tread carefully and create marketing that doesn’t feel like a hard sell.

It’s a day for those who love their dads and dad-like figures to celebrate and honor them. It’s not dads’ jobs to take part in that process, really – so brands are the best partners in crime for wives, husbands, and children to look to. And should act accordingly.

For that, you need to get to know dads as people first – all year long. When you do, Father’s Day and other occasions become no-muss-no-fuss. And that’s what dad would want anyway.

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