The Battle for Time - Week of June 12

June 20, 2016 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, Content Editor

Happy dad day, dad! This past Sunday, we celebrated our fathers. We BBQ’d for them. We gave them cards about getting old. We planned extra special celebrations for those having their first Father’s Day.

With the festivities came a flurry of content that reminded us of a few important marketing lessons.

This is what captured our minutes this week. 

Here's why: 

1. It brought on ads that had a special kind of raw sentimentality. 

When it comes to Father’s Day vs. Mother’s Day, ads about dads are usually light-hearted while those about moms are the ones that pull on our heartstrings.

This year, we saw a bunch of really great ads that pushed past that typecast and made us feel something.

Most notably is Toyota’s (yes, a car manufacturer) Safety Sense video about a father’s and daughter’s view of one another through the years.

So the video may have ended with Toyota's logo, but this was an excellent example of how to turn what could have just been a long ad into a 3-minute story that knows no borders. Father’s around the world have experienced this story. It’s real.

That is the type of content you want to invest in (especially if it’s going to garner you over 6 million views in just a week).

2. It reminded us why we don’t like the pitch slap.  

Just like any kind of marketable holiday, father’s day brought on the radio spots about buying tool kits, ads on making dad look great in a fresh pair of khakis and TV commercials pushing us to buy the latest gadget to surprise him with.

But here’s the thing: no one wants to be pitch-slapped. No one wants a bunch of colourful ads thrown at them, screaming at them to ‘buy now’ and take advantage of the ‘year’s best deals.’ Why don’t they want this? There’s no meaning to it.

We say this a lot, but it’s because it’s true: audiences want authentic experiences. There’s just so much crap out there that people are now experts in wading through it all.

If they have a million options to be sold something, the things that will reach them will be the things that offer them something they can relate to, or gosh, even empathize with.

Besides, what dad wants to be defined by tools, beige pants or a new watch? They don’t all fit the same stereotype.

3. It reminded us about what’s really important.

The combination of tear-jerker branded videos and over-exuberant pitch-slaps made us realize something: person-to-person interaction is the best kind of content.

It reminded us to get back to the basics, unplug and spend a day with the guys who pinched their noses when they changed our diapers, gave us a good push on the swings and cheered us on the loudest.

To the dads everywhere, thank you for being you.  

And on that note, we leave you with something fun and totally off-side: a salamander trying to catch bubbles. Not all great content has to be serious, it just has to make enough of an impact to make audiences feel something. In this case, it’s a serious case of the giggles. 

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?

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The Battle for Time - Week of June 12.