Whether it’s a super-human capacity for DIY or a barely-human approach to public dancing, there are certain things we just associate with our dads.
Social media though, unlike drilling, carving meat and not liking our music, is not something you can easily picture your dad getting his head around.
But while he sometimes operates his smart phone in the same way a monkey would tackle a strange new nut, your old dad is perhaps not the social media novice you think he is.
In fact men’s social media usage is quickly catching up on women’s, with a study by Pew revealing that 73% of men are now actively using a social networking site, compared to 80% of women.
Admittedly, you may not find him creating a board of his favourite sausages on Pinterest (where a whopping 70% of accounts are owned by women). But sites like YouTube and online discussion forums like Reddit are social environments that hold a huge appeal to male users.
And, perhaps surprisingly, the ‘Dad Dollar’ is something that social media influencers and brands could easily tap into. Amongst the top 50 brands on Instagram, 47% of their total followers are men, while traditionally masculine brands like the NFL and Red Bull have followings dominated by male users.
Move over mums
One sure sign that social media is a place for dads is how much creative effort and energy is going into Father’s Day campaigns.
Mother’s Day has long been a key date in the calendar for brands and influencers to celebrate the eternal magic of the mum, but recently dads have been enjoying the same treatment.
The trick is to recognise the very different types of dad that are out there – and the different messages that are going to feel relevant and compelling to them.
Father’s Day naturally feels like the perfect opportunity to speak to an audience that may not necessarily be on your radar for most of the year. But with so many different nations celebrating it (at different times and in very different ways) the struggle is to find something that feels relatable to the particular pool of dads that interest you.
Some of the very best brand campaigns at Father’s Day are built on an insight. For example US electronics firm HH Gregg took the popular association between dads and terrible jokes and, dressing up children in amusing ‘dad costumes’, created videos of them telling their own dads’ appalling gags.
Gillette, on the other hand, went down a more emotionally inspiring path. Building on an insight that 94% of teenagers would sooner ask Google the answer to their questions than go to their own dad, the brand created some heart-warming videos about children realising just how worldly wise their dads truly are.
And with brands like Fruit of the Loom going one better and actually providing digital gifts for Father’s Day, the creative expectations for celebrating dads are higher than ever.
Which is why, unlike your dad’s joke about two dolphins in a windmill, digital daddies need taking very seriously indeed.