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Rule #1 for advertising to dads on YouTube: Check your stereotypes at the door. With Father’s Day coming up, learn how one of the most progressive brands in its space, Dove Men+Care, uses YouTube to speak authentically to this prized demographic.

Old media is full of fathers who are tough and aloof—characters who never betray their feelings or emotions. And yet, far removed from the Hollywood of yesteryear, men today are stepping into more rounded, warmer portraits of fatherhood. Dove Men+Care, for one, has noticed.

Men relating to depictions of masculinity in the media

The brand launched in 2010 to fill a white space in the marketplace for grooming products specifically designed for men, with marketing that relies on breaking stereotypes to engage this audience. When the brand team uncovered that only 7% of men relate to depictions of masculinity in media today, they decided to lean into a new truth when it comes to real men: Care makes a man stronger, and men today want to see this reflected in the content they engage with.  

According to Ipsos, 91% of dads watch YouTube at least monthly1—and what they’re watching might surprise you.

Dads are turning to YouTube for entertainment and “me time” just like moms are. But they’re turning to YouTube specifically for parenting care content too, and they’re even more likely than moms are to do so. According to Ipsos, 80% of dads (compared to 71% of moms) go to YouTube for guidance on key parenting topics such as assembling children’s products, preparing meals for their children, and helping their children learn.2

Millennial dads getting parenting tips on YouTube

Dove Men+Care has been quick to move on this data about dads’ behavior on YouTube. For the sake of authenticity, over the past few years YouTube has played a role not only in Dove Men+Care’s media strategy, but also in the brand’s creative approach.

“YouTube offers a variety of content, much of which aligns with the passion points and interests of our target audience,” says Adam Domian, senior brand manager of Dove Men+Care. “On YouTube, we share films that not only talk to our benefits, but also highlight the ways that care makes a man stronger. We know that real men want to see themselves accurately portrayed, and that their caring side is a big part of their masculinity.”

This strategy comes to life beautifully in the brand’s Father’s Day campaigns, for which the brand uses real YouTube clips of real fathers showing care. In 2015, Dove Men+Care focused on “First Fatherhood Moments,” showing heartwarming YouTube footage of men reacting to the news that they were about to become fathers:

Dove Men+Care shares your first fatherhood moments this Father’s Day

Last year, Dove Men+Care’s Father’s Day campaign My Dad, My Hero showed that dads are the real heroes by highlighting tender moments of dads and the extraordinary things they do to care for their kids:

Caring Makes My Dad, My Hero | Happy Father's Day | Dove Men+Care - 60 sec

And this year for Father’s Day, Dove Men+Care is using YouTube to thank all the men who are There to Care. Because in addition to dads, there are many men who play an instrumental role in caring for and shaping the lives of others:

Celebrate Men Who Are There to Care This Father's Day | Dove Men+Care®

For marketers looking to engage dads around Father’s Day and beyond, Dove Men+Care subscribes to one core truth: Real men want to see themselves as they really are, and that means showing that their real strength today comes from caring for others.