For nearly as long as there’s been a Super Bowl, there have been overpriced TV commercials targeting undersexed, overfed single guys with beautiful women, pizza and beer as far as the eye can see. But this year, advertising’s biggest single day will have a new target: Fathers. Industry bible Advertising Age went so far as to dub it “the Daddy Bowl,” while pointing out that fathers appear to be replacing last year’s demo of choice: general minorities.
This isn’t exactly new territory — Hyundai had a father-focused spot last year that was considered by many to be the best ad of the game — but Nissan, Dove and Toyota have all announced in advance that their campaigns are devoted to dads. They’re not the only ones, and through the magic of the internet, many of this year’s spots are already available for viewing.
So, how do these brands acquit themselves, now that they’re explicitly marketing to you? Here are 6 campaigns, ranked from least-to-most patronizing.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/zLeLJSc8pXI expand=1]
Nissan’s actual Super Bowl spot remains under lock and key, but they’ve given over their entire YouTube page to a #withdad campaign and produced 8 videos starring YouTube favorites like Dude Perfect and Convos w/ My 2-Year-Old. Epic Meal Time gets the featured slot here, because Meat Snow Racer.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/PZ-Yiuc9sOQ expand=1]
Nissan gets points for having a sense of humor on the topic, but for pure heart-string-tugging paternalism, Toyota wins. Their “To Be A Dad” campaign features testimonials from famous footballing fathers and will be a pared down version of the 3-minute spot above. But it only takes 30 seconds to get the eyes a little misty.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/QoqWo3SJ73c expand=1]
Speaking of misty eyes, don’t act like the Dove Men+Care campaign from Father’s Day 2014 didn’t have you blaming onions if anyone caught you watching. The brand has (barely) reworked that spot for this year’s game, adding a more specific product tie-in and a voiceover from ESPN’s Mike Greenberg. In other words, they kind of ruined it.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/3R2WtE-OWC8 expand=1]
While BMW’s father/son spot is more about latter than the former, the Bavarians get credit for their depiction of a tech-savvy father who’s phone alerts him to his joyriding son. It’s another indicator that the hopeless schmuck that characterized “dadvertising” in the past has been replaced by a guy you might actually recognize.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kzt_j07-lkE expand=1]
Like Nissan, Doritos won’t reveal their actual spot until Sunday, but the contenders feature a few dads, all of whom skew toward the beer commercial archetype that seems otherwise less prevalent this year. Then again, in a world where kale chips are actually a thing, the Doritos dads almost feel retro funny. Almost.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/sMMr9EMZX7U expand=1]
One could argue that the Loctite spot isn’t strictly about fathers, since it also stars a little girl and a mom and at least one plausibly single guy. But there’s a subliminal dad message running throughout, and it’s not hidden under that snappy EDM track. [Hint: It’s the fanny pack].