4 Brands Bet on Social and Mobile to Boost Father’s Day Campaigns

Manly marketers home in on digital

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Marketers are gung-ho on playing up photo-sharing and social media this year to tap into the power of dad, as seen in Father’s Day campaigns from Ace Hardware, Craftsman, Dremel and O2X. You may not expect dads to be receptive about posting touchy-feely streams of pictures on social media, but that didn't stop several of these marketers from going that route. Here's a closer look at how the brands are using Father’s Day to build up their digital chops.

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware is running a mobile advertising campaign within the mobile sites of publishers, including Esquire, Men’s Fitness and Good Housekeeping.

The ads are powered by Kargo and feature a clock that counts down the time left to buy dad a gift. A click-through on the ads lead to the retailer’s mobile site, which promotes a Father’s Day sale through Sunday.

Calls-to-action also drive in-store traffic by promoting weekly circulars. "Surrounding contextually relevant content is one of many ways Ace Hardware connects with DIY consumers. Doing so on mobile at scale is key for Ace's promotions including Father’s Day," said Jeff Gooding, director of consumer marketing at Ace Hardware.


The Sears tool brand is making a push for men to submit their ultimate manly photo—think lots of thick mustache shots or pictures of shirtless dudes chopping wood—on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram this year as part of a campaign dubbed MAKEcation.

One winner will receive a paid trip to Lake Arrowhead, CA where he’ll spend four days doing manly stuff like rolling cigars, practicing blacksmithing and making whiskey.

A microsite houses all of the campaign’s assets, which also include commerce-enabled links to Craftsman products, themed wrapping paper and music downloads.

Finally, Craftsman has released a series of YouTube videos.


Dremel’s Father’s Day Facebook app prompts users to submit photos and captions through Sunday. In addition, the social app aggregates all of the submissions, many of which appear to either be posed pictures of kids with their dads or selfies. The brand worked with HelloWorld to power the campaign.

One "ultimate dad" will win a $5,000 gift card and Ultra-Saw and runner-ups will get $100 gift cards and saws.


Active outdoor fitness brand O2X (which plans outdoor races) is working with Vivaldi Partners to ask people who register for upcoming races to share a story or photo on social media about how their dad has impacted their athletic performance. That content will then be pushed out on O2X’s own digital platforms. Calls-to-action are also running on all of the sites for upcoming races, with promoted tweets amplifying the #O2Xdads hashtag.

The idea is to tap into the shared athletic passion between dads and sons. "It relates to our brand and one of the strong themes within our brand is human performance and how can you better athletes, better people, better stewards of the environment, of the planet," said Craig Coffey, co-founder of O2X. 

@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.