“Go Ask Dad” Campaign Melts Hearts On Dads’ Day

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Just in time for Fathers Day, Procter & Gamble has come up with a “Go Ask Dad” Campaign that hasn’t just gone viral, it’s gone right to the heart of more than 2M users. It features awkward teenaged boys facing important rights of passage—how to ask a girl out, tie a tie, fry an egg, and of course, shave.

These days, when an estimated 94% of kids ask the Internet before they’d ever ask their dads, P&G shows that these kids all agree that the lessons are far better when they come from their fathers for a few very good reasons. The approach is personalized, and their fathers know, love and understand them.

The methodology: Computer vs Dad

In this two-minute spot, the sons enter a room, one at a time, and are asked to look up some things on the internet using a tablet. When the boys try to follow the internet instructions, the results are dismal. Then the boys are urged to ask their dads the same questions. “See how I do it?” one dad says as he shows how to tie a tie. “There you go,” says another dad. “Your first shave.”

There are expressions of thanks and love, smiles, hugs and tears. The commercial closes with the written words: “This Father’s Day, go ask dad”, followed by the company’s powerful tagline: “Gillette. The best a man can get.”

Search engine optimization (SEO) is helping drive views

When anyone searches with keywords such as “How To Tie a Tie,” P&G is redirecting them to the “Go Ask Dad” video in an effort to promote Gillette razors. The ad was posted on YouTube on June 6, and by June 11, it had received 2,609,016 views.

An overarching theme: the value of the father-son connection

According to P&G’s North American shave care brand director for Gillette. “Our hope is that this campaign will serve as a reminder of the value of the father and son connection and encourage sons to reach out to their dads.” Of course, P&G also hopes that grateful sons will give their dads a Gillette Fusion ProShield razor and a year-long subscription to the Gillette Shave Club as a Father’s Day gift in return for the valuable life lessons.

Procter & Gamble, of course, is a smart retailer, and they’ve created a timeless ad that resonates across cultures. But there’s something else going on–they understand the importance of relationships. There isn’t a man out there who isn’t going to remember his own awkward adolescence. The mysteries of tying a tie, shaving and trying screw up the courage to ask a girl out. How his dad bought him his first razor and shared the secrets of shaving. That first razor may or may not have been a Gillette, but this ad is making a compelling case for buying one now.

There’s one more thing . . .

These days, really good marketing tells a story. It’s not enough to talk about that Gillette razor—even though it may be the company’s most advanced shave, with flexball technology, whatever the hell that is. As far as I’m concerned, all razors are the same. But I will remember this compelling story. A group of gawky teenage boys on the cusp of manhood, each being guided by the gentle hands of his father. This Father’s Day, Gillette’s sharing this story, hoping to make an emotional connection—that’s good marketing.

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