Leave the power tools behind: how do you write inclusively about Father’s Day?
‘I’d rather be playing golf.’ ‘Hope your day's full of beer and footy, yeah?’ ‘I know you hate showing emotion, father, so here’s a card to say: you’re alright. As you were.’
Another Father’s Day, another set of shelves in card shops chock-full of the usual dad stereotypes. As the importance of inclusivity creeps up many brands’ priorities list, and rightly so, we’re faced with a puzzle. How do you make the most of topical days and events – from blogs to social posts to internal comms – without alienating your readership?
Here are three ways to keep your content calendar busy, organic and inclusive.
1. Step up your definition of family
What does your family look like? Odds are, it’s probably not nuclear. Nearly half of all families in the US are blended and more children than ever are being raised by single parents, adoptive parents, and gay or lesbian parents. Your Father’s Day campaign is an opportunity to showcase the range of what fatherhood looks like.
That could mean:
- not writing about ‘mum’ as the counterpoint to ‘dad’
- not referencing being biologically related
- using your imagery as a chance to show dads who might not typically get represented.
Inclusive language connects you with all your customers. And it applies whether your business is celebrating families, Pride or Black History Month. Luckily for you, our inclusive language webinar covers all this and more. Right this way, everyone.
2. Ditch the dad stereotypes
Father’s Day isn’t just about socks, power tools and beer. This year, think differently about male role models and what Father’s Day is about. Gillette’s Go Ask Dad campaign went viral in 2017 for doing just that. Because dads aren’t just there to teach you how to shave – they’re also there to tell you what it’s like to fall in love for the first time.
You won’t be able to cover every single type of family or father, and it’s better not to try to. Instead of over-used and specific cultural references, draw on some of the feelings associated with fatherhood: love, pride, perpetually embarrassing your kids whether you like it or not. And you’ll find you won’t need to plaster your Father's Day emails with every shade of blue to get your message across.
3. Stand out by opting out
Anniversaries can be tough for people going through bereavement. In 2019, British flower delivery service Bloom & Wild gave newsletter subscribers the chance to opt out of Mother’s Day communications, letting customers press pause on marketing – and coming across as an authentic and empathetic brand in the process. They even launched the Thoughtful Marketing Movement as a follow up. So this Father’s Day, give people the chance to pass on the sentimental family comms. It could leave them feeling anything but warm and fuzzy.
This advice comes with a caveat, though. Some brands send these opt-out emails every year – which can be just as upsetting as getting that Father’s Day email in the first place. Instead, try building it into your form or preference settings when people first sign up for email marketing.
Your content can be as unique as the families it speaks to. Just as long as you leave the cordless drill on the shelf.
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