10 Ads Starring Great Dads for Father’s Day

A celebration of the guy who's often a punch line

As Adweek noted recently, fathers are making a serious comeback in advertising. For years, they've been the punch line of endless commercials—portrayed as little more than a horse's ass (sometimes literally a horse's ass!). But there have always been ads that grudgingly, sometimes even happily, pay respect to fathers. Guys can only take so much ribbing—sometimes they need a little loving, too. Below, check out our picks for 10 ads starring great dads. Some of the spots come from Unruly Media's new list of most-shared dad commercials; others are just favorites of ours. So, Happy Father's Day, dads. Turns out you're not complete morons after all.

  1. American Greetings
    Fathers are not often recognized as accomplished rappers, but this video from American Greetings proves they can throw down a rhyme or two about the unique challenges of parenting.
  2. Nike
    This Tiger Woods atonement spot might not have been a great ad, but it did feature a great dad—the voice of Tiger's father Earl. Reaction to the April 2010 spot was mixed. One of the haters, Jason Piroth, put it quite eloquently at the time: "Using the out-of-context words of your dead father in an attempt to clean up your image just might be more offensive than nailing dozens of hookers across the U.S. while your wife raises your kid."
  3. Volkswagen
    A classic example of the new superdad spots in advertising, this one movingly portrayed a father's love for his daughter. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to have the same love for musicians' rights.
  4. Oreo
    A simple, classic Father's Day spot for the Nabisco cookie brand.
  5. Jell-O Pudding
    Dad is a doofus once again in this Jell-O Pudding spot, but he doesn't much care, judging by that terrifying CGI grin.

  1. Fatherhood.gov
    Being willing, even eager, to look stupid if it will help your children is a prerequisite for fatherhood. Few ads capture this quite as wonderfully as this PSA.
  2. Thai Life Insurance
    This spot will leave you a blubbering wreck. Go on, watch it.
  3. Subaru
    An absolute classic of the genre, this Subaru spot was so well done, it earned an Emmy nomination.
  4. Google Chrome
    The crowning achievement of the Google Chrome ad campaign, "Dear Sophie" is one of the great tear-jerkers of all time.
  5. John Hancock
    Quite possibly the greatest dad ad ever made, this John Hancock spot from Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos and director Joe Pytka was a high point of 1980s advertising. It won the Film Grand Prix at Cannes in 1986.