Brands Hug It Out For Father’s Day: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Vodafone makes a couple grannies famous, a laundry brand reminds you to hug your dad, and a heartbreaking Irish road safety PSA.

Brands Hug It Out For Father’s Day: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

This weekend it’s Father’s Day, officially, but every day over the last several months has been a little more Daddy than usual as brands seem to have turned their attention toward paterfamiliases in their ongoing quest to MAKE US FEEL. You’ll no doubt see some ads about BBQing meat, maybe some power tool or golf-related promos, but two of the best spots this week, predictably, take a much more emotional approach to fatherhood, the challenges of being a dad, and things left unsaid.


Toyota Japan tells a father-daughter story from two different perspectives, through the eyes of both a dad and a girl, making a pretty universal tale unique. Meanwhile, Fairy Non Bio detergent introduces us to a father and son, and how their relationship has changed over the years. Both take the viewer through many years of the fatherhood experience, packing enough of a subtle heartwarming punch to give any dad goosebumps.

Read on for more about these and the rest of our picks for the best in brand creativity this week.

Vodafone “Sunday Grannies”

What: A pop-up lunch campaign through Facebook that connected two grandmothers’ love of cooking for big groups with students in the city looking for a home-cooked meal.
Who: Vodafone, McCann Bucharest
Why We Care: Not only did it turn the Sunday Grannies into social media stars in Romania, it nabbed them their own cooking show and branded products, as well as boosted Facebook pages by Romanians over 65 by 20%, and 4G smartphone sales by 40%.


Fairy Non Bio “Learning to Hug

What: A Father’s Day tribute follows the story of a father and son from birth to adulthood. reflecting on the nature of hugging and how, as children grow, the physical embraces decrease.
Who: Fairy Non Bio, Leo Burnett London
Why We Care: A journey of fatherhood through the cuddles with a toddler to that age when many kids would rather die than be hugged in public by their dad. The most heartwarming part is hearing Stephen (dad) and Ben (son) talk about their relationship and see it all come full circle with a hug.

Google “Building A Proud Community”

What: An ad for Google’s small business services that also tells a heartwarming story about a guy named Jake, who was born female, and his acceptance by a gym in Kansas City.
Who: Google, Venables Bell & Partners
Why We Care: It’s a unique brand that can celebrate Pride Month in a way that seamlessly blends a very personal, intimate profile with a legitimate product tie-in, without feeling patronizing or exploitive, instead just telling a great story.

Toyota “Loving Eyes”

What: A touching father-daughter story told from both perspectives.
Who: Toyota Japan
Why We Care: Another fatherhood-through-the-ages story, except this one is first told from the dad’s POV, and then through the daughter’s eyes. The dual POV approach has been done before (on Mother’s Day, no less) but it’s still a touching story that aims to show how fatherhood and the relationship with kids evolves.


Road Safety Authority Ireland “Don’t Look Back”

What: A strikingly bleak PSA that uniquely illustrates the lifelong consequences of a split-second driving decision.
Who: Road Safety Authority Ireland, Irish International
Why We Care: Consequences of a bad decision are the stock and trade of PSAs, but this takes that idea and puts a different spin on it to devastating effect.


About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity.