Father’s Day still is a few weeks away; it falls on Sunday, June 16 this year. Already I’ve run across a couple of amusing promotions and products if you’re taking a retail approach to the observance, so figured I’d pass them along a bit early.
Here’s a history of Father’s Day from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, if you need any factoids. This Yahoo! Finance article advises sellers to update their search-engine optimization early, to get a jump on the many consumer who say they’ll use the web to research and purchase dads-day gifts. Note the demographic breakdown on spending and the categories of gifts — tech isn’t terribly hot, but tools and other hobby/sporting items are. It might be interesting to contrast the type of establishments that cash in on Mother’s Day (restaurant brunches, jewelry stores, florists) with those that target Father’s Day, like golf shops, hardware stores and garden centers.
The National Retail Federation isn’t out with its F-Day forecast this year, but here’s it’s web portal on the subject. You can read previous years’ press releases for an idea of hot spending categories. Note that dad’s tend to be on the receiving end of less filial largesse than do mothers, but spending on gifts for father appears to be growing at a double-digit clip in recent years.
Maybe that’s why retailers and others are out with some unexpected promotions this year. I had to laugh when I received an advertisement for Yankee Candles’ new Man Candles line. The company that sells pricey candles bearing names like Lilac Blossom and Home Sweet Home now is touting “manly scents” that include “Mm, Bacon,” “Movie Night,” and “Riding Mower.” The company also sells football-bedecked accessories for guys enjoying these buttered-popcorn and freshly-cut-grass scents, to go with “First Down,” a “combination of orange, patchouli, vetiver and leather is as exciting as game day.”
If you want to do a marketing piece for Father’s Day, why not use the candles as a springboard to a story about “crossover marketing” in which goods-makes are finding a new niche in selling to men products and services traditionally marketed to women, such as spa treatments and accessories. Here’s a Crain’s New York Business article from earlier in May about the rise in make-up sales to men – it would be interesting to localize.
More broadly, you could look at crossover marketing as a rather controversial ploy in which goods-makers and retailers target genders and ages with different iterations of similar products. (Methinks Yankee probably has other grass-scented candles with less macho names but similar scents, for example.) Here’s a Forbes article from last year that’s down on the idea. On the flip side, you have sites like TomboyTools.com marketing pink power tools to women, and we’ve all heard about the “youth rifles” including pink ones marketed for little girls.
Other business angles related to Father’s Day could include:
Small business. This isn’t a bad time to highlight multi-generation family businesses in which fathers are passing along their knowledge and expertise to a new generation of sons or daughters. There’s also the plight of family businesses in which the next generation has no interest in a long-time company. Both are the premise for interesting features about well-known area companies.
Science. Not a very sentimental angle, but you could take a look at the market for paternity testing services — here’s a BostonMagazine.com article about a mobile “Who’s your Daddy?” testing truck that rolled into that city recently.
Money. There’s also an industry surrounding child-support payments; check out this site that touts a for-profit collection service specializing in that niche. You can locate firms like that as well as attorneys that specialize in child-support modification and other angles in your region by doing a Google search and adding a geographic term.
And I’m just including this because it’s weird, even though it’s not directly related to Father’s Day — AdWeek reports that Beardvertising is the newest mancessory, in which men are paid to clip tiny advertising boards to their facial hair.