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Successful TV Commercials Starring Dear Old Dad

By Hannah Hill on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 @ 11:44 AM |


With Father’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d highlight a few brands that have used dads to create successful TV commercials. And I figured I better play fair, since I wrote a Mother’s Day-themed blog post last month. If you missed our Mother’s Day post and want to learn how brands like Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Jif and Hallmark rely on moms to help sell their products, give it a read now. Otherwise, keep reading to learn how Subaru, Doritos and Volkswagen have been successful through the use of Dadvertising.

As a daughter, I can relate to this Subaru commercial. Maybe you can, too. Take a look.

This Subaru ad works for a couple reasons. First, it speaks to any dad who has had a similar conversation with his son or daughter after handing over the car keys for the first time. It’s a monumental moment in a parent’s life. This ad capitalizes on the emotions felt in that momentSuccessful Subaru TV Commercial
and causes the audience to relive it. Second, the commercial portrays Subaru as a brand dads can trust with the most destructive force known to humankind: a teenage driver. When brands gain your trust, they have a better chance of gaining your dollars and then repeat business after that. Trust is a big part of brand equity and Subaru knows it.


One of my favorite commercials from Super Bowl XLVII was the Doritos spot featuring the fashionista daddy who plays dress-up with his daughter instead of hanging out with the guys. If you missed it, take a look. This guy is a pretty awesome dad, though I’m not so sure pink is one of his colors. You be the judge.

This ad was created as part of a crowdsourcing ad competition coined ‘Crash the Super Bowl.’ For the past seven years, Frito-Lay (Doritos’ parent company) has promoted a friendly Successful Doritos TV Commercialcompetition among consumers as a means of creating ad buzz around the Super Bowl. Here’s how the competition works: thousands of Doritos fans create 30-second TV commercials and submit them to the company for their chance at one of many prizes, including cash and airing the commercial during the game. "[It is] the best amplification of our brand narrative," said Jeff Klein, senior marketing director at Frito-Lay. "We just continue to be blown away by the creativity of Doritos fans." ‘Fashionista Daddy’ and ‘Goat 4 Sale’ ranked within the top seven on the Ad Meter, so it’s safe to assume there will be another crowdsourcing ad competition next year.

Kids look up to their fathers, especially when it comes to their athletic ability. That’s what makes this Volkswagen TV commercial so funny because the guy can’t throw. Not at all.

Dads are often perceived as role models for their children, especially their sons. If dad likes a product, whatever it may be, his son will most likely follow suit, at least in the early years. When he buys a high quality Volkswagen, chances are it will last until his son is old enough toSuccessful Volkswagen TV Commercial drive it; at least that’s what this commercial is saying. Volkswagen created this commercial to sell the quality and longevity of their cars. When the commercial concludes with “Pass down something he will be grateful for,” I can’t help but laugh. If given the choice between this dad’s throwing ability or his used car, I’d definitely take the car. Nice positioning, Volkswagen.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, mine included. Check out this special Father’s Day greeting from Oreo.

Then download our STSQ interview with Justin Kaufenberg, co-founder and CEO of TST Media, to learn how his father influenced his life and instilled in him the idea to control his own destiny.

Download our STSQ interview with Justin Kaufenberg

Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

TV advertising TV commercials crowdsourced advertising successful TV commercials