Yet when it comes to Father’s Day and Asia-Pacific marketers may want to do a bit of research as the day is recognized slightly differently in each country – and in some on completely different days.
Here’s a quick rundown of how – and when – the day is celebrated across the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong Kong (3rd Sunday in June)
In Hong Kong and mainland China, Father’s Day is not an official holiday, but it is celebrated according to the tradition of the US.
Father’s Day advertising in Asia is typically not as light-hearted as it is in the West, and is often based on sentimental and moving portraits of father-children relationships.
MetLife Hong Kong “My Dad is a liar”
Perhaps the most moving Asian Father’s Day ad in the past few years comes from Hong Kong insurance provide MetLife, titled “My Dad is a Liar”.
In the short video, a little girl reads a letter about how great her father is – but that she knows he does not always tell the truth (in her best interest, of course!)
Singapore (3rd Sunday in June)
As with most holidays, Singapore celebrates Father’s Day at the same time and in largely the same way as in the West.
Uber “Happy Father’s Day Singapore”
Taking a lighter approach to the day than other Asian brands, Uber Singapore produced this funny ad of close-ups of dads making funny faces. As the camera pulls back, we see that the dads are trying to keep their kids entertained, with the tagline “Now you can keep your eyes on them, not on the road”.
India (3rd Sunday in June)
In India, Father’s Day is recognized only, for the most part, in urban areas and celebrations follow the Western tradition of children giving gifts to their fathers. Consumer-oriented ads are quite common but typically include an emotional story.
LG “Happy Father’s Day Mom”
Global electronics and appliance firm LG took an unusual approach with its marketing last year and produced an ad about less-traditional family units.
In the short video, kids speak highly of their parent who helped them in traditional fatherly ways and then introduce their single-parent mother, who played the role of the father their life.
Father’s Day in Japan largely follows the Western tradition, but gifts tend to be more food and alcohol oriented, with wagyu beef and sake being the most popular gifted items.
Toyota “Loving Eyes”
In a very popular video (7m+ views), Toyota celebrates Father’s Day with a story of a child growing up (with many scenes in retro Toyotas).
The first half is shot from the father’s perspective – and then in the second half we see the same scenes from the daughter’s eyes. It, too, is a very moving ad but ends with a cryptic (and possibly poorly-translated) slogan ‘Love works invisible. Toyota works love.’
Australia (1st Sunday in September)
There is little point in brands developing a Father’s Day campaign for Australia in June as the country decided long ago to move it to a date later in the year. Apparently Father’s Day was moved because Australians already have many celebrations around June and September is the start of Spring, which is a much more pleasant time to celebrate dads.
Bonds “Help dad feel more comfortable”
Australians are also a bit more jovial in their celebration of their fathers than their Asian neighbours. In this ad, Bonds underwear has produced a rather amusing short video of men talking about how ‘having a baby’ changed their life – all while sitting in their (Bonds) undies.
Thailand (December 5th)
In Thailand, Father’s Day coincides with the late King Bhumibol’s birthday on December 5th. The date was selected as the King is seen as the father of Thailand and it seems that the country will continue using this date despite his death in 2016.
Thai Life Insurance “Father Voiceless”
In the tradition of other Asian countries, Thai Life Insurance produced a real tear-jerker about a deaf father and his daughter, who initially sees him as a liability and then realizes how much he means to her when she has an accident.
Taiwan (August 8th)
Interestingly, Taiwan celebrates Father’s Day on a day which, in Mandarin, sounds like ‘father’. The eighth (ba) day of the eigth (ba) month sound similar to the colloquial word for father (ba-ba).
BNP Paribas TCB Life “Love of Father”
Continuing in the Asian tradition of Father’s Day ads designed to make you cry, BNP Paribas TCB Life produced a story of a man whose father, once strong, falls prey to dementia.
Philippines (1st Monday of December)
In the Philippines, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day is officially celebrated on the first Monday of December by Presidential Proclamation. In practice, because of Western influence in the country, Filipinos also celebrate it on the 3rd Sunday in June.
McDonalds “Wait lang po”
To show support for the holiday, McDonalds made a short video which mysteriously shows men sitting around, tapping their feet and drinking McCafe coffees. Then at the end we are shown that they aren’t just being idle, but are patiently waiting for their children.
New Zealand (1st Sunday in September)
New Zealand celebrates Father’s Day on the same day as Australia, at the start of the country’s Spring.
Newshub “Father’s Day Question”
In appreciation for fathers, Newshub, one of the main New Zealand news providers, put together a short video which documents an actual phone call to one of its radio hosts concerning a Father’s Day contest.
The recording wasn’t meant to have been an ad originally, but after it enjoyed viral reach on YouTube (over 4 million views), the network decided to join in the fun and produce a hilarious animation of the call.
It’s good until the end – and provides a perfect antidote to all the other weepy Father’s Day stories.
For more information about Econsultancy’s reseach, training and best practice solutions contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org