Posted By Malena in Blog

Brought to you by the changes in societal roles and a growing progressive population, marketing to dads is something that we can no longer treat as an afterthought. 

Who is this article for?

  • Marketers who are interested in targeting dads
  • People who are curious about the recent trends among dads
  • Marketers who want to create long-lasting connections with mums

Topics included in this article:

  • Content for dads, why it works, and how you can pull it off
  • How to reach out to dads through mums 
  • Gamification of marketing materials, why it matters when marketing to dads

For years, dads appearing in advertisements have always been just a “special” thing. Audiences would mostly only see dad-focused marketing during Father’s Day. When we do see dads outside of Father’s Day territory, there’s a good chance that it’s in an alcoholic beverage advertisement or something like a body pain relief tablet. This is because most family marketing efforts are focused on mums.

That being said, is focusing on mums the wrong thing to do in 2022?

Should mums remain the main target of products families consume in Southeast Asia?

Yes and no. Targeting mums well is very much still highly important. 

Studies show that mums are still the decision-makers of the household especially when it comes to purchases. Especially in Southeast Asia, where dads are only likely to weigh in on purchases if it’s high valued (e.g insurance, education, etc). This is obviously important for marketers. 

Take a look at this infographic, with data coming from our recent Dadvertising 2021 reports

Times are changing, and so are parents’ roles

But as expected, times are changing and parents’ roles are experiencing some changes as well. 

In the past, especially in Asia, dads weren’t really expected to help out in these tasks because society says they’re supposed to be doing other things than earning money for the family. Today, mums are no longer restricted to becoming housewives, but the tasks parents have are still not very equal because of this mindset from the past. 

This results in mums having less rest times or “me-times” and becoming tired. Hence, mums want dads to help out more. 

In Malaysia, 70% of mums think that their husbands should be helping them more. While 87% of these Malaysian mums have already voiced out to their husbands how they should be helping.

Other markets have expressed similar results. To view them, please download the Dadvertising Reports from our reports page.

Due to this very culture, we don’t really see dads fully taking charge of household decisions soon here in Southeast Asia. However, dads’ roles in the lives of their children are still definitely bigger now than it was in the past. Because of changes in generational mindsets and mums becoming more assertive, in the future dads are more likely to have equal weigh-ins on what their family purchases. 

This is why 2022 is the best year to start making dads feel like they really belong in the narrative marketers communicate to families. Doing so would be like investing in Bitcoin back in 2011. It still has a long way to go and some are sceptical, but you know it’s the future.

The verdict? Mums should remain as the main target of products consumed by families, but begin putting dads in the spotlight, too. Preferably, portray them actively co-parenting.

Creating lasting relationships with mums through dads

Another benefit that actively marketing to dads can give you are the stronger relationships you can make with mums. 

We all have that one friend we vent to about people in our lives. We go to that friend because they sympathize with us and they make us feel better. Your brand can become that friend to mums. 

Dads are often the cause of frustration of many mums especially when they don’t get along with the distribution of responsibilities. Aside from wanting dads to help in the household more, mums also wish that dads can be more involved in nurturing their health, too. 

Supporting the growth of dads’ role in the household can help make mums feel understood. This helps them realise that you understand their challenges and can urge them to feel more connected with your brand. It’s really a win-win for everyone once brands start marketing to dads more seriously.

Marketing to dads: What would work best for dads?

To be able to market to dads effectively in 2022, you first have to know what dads are like today. Obviously.

The small problem is, the world of dads is quite mysterious. When compared to mums, the amount of information we have about dads is not a lot. Hence, there’s still a lot of aspects about the life and role of dads that are still unknown.

We wouldn’t be surprised if this is the reason why marketers still choose to focus more on mums despite knowing about the role progression among parents.

But, we got you.

Recently, our team here at theAsianparent Insights conducted the Dadvertising 2021 studies across 5 important markets in Southeast Asia. By evaluating the data we got, here are some strategies that can work best when marketing to dads.

As usual, content

Yes, it’s highly effective for dads, too.

In the Dadvertising 2021 report, we found that Dads from ID and MY visit theAsianparent app multiple times a week. While dads from SG and PH visit the app at least once a day! 

But the important insight here is that when inside our app, dads love to read articles. Seriously. 

The biggest article readers among Southeast Asian dads are Filipino dads (92%). However, on average, 84.8% of dads in Southeast Asia read articles whenever they visit theAsianparent app. That’s almost all dads!


Participating in polls and activities is also something that more than half of dads do inside the app.

Don’t leave out dads in discussions

As we can all see, dads consume a lot of content inside theAsianparent app even though the population of the platform is dominated by mums. There’s no excuse that content can work for dads. But how can we make content that can reach dads better?

If you read the Dadvertising reports, you can see that dads also spend a lot of time going through q&a’s by mums and checking their partners’ baby trackers.

This confirms three things. One, dads are curious. Two, dads care about the well-being of their partners and their family. And three, dads ultimately want to be better partners and parents in numerous ways.

This is why it’s important to always include dads in the content that you are going to create. If the content is mainly written for mums like breastfeeding tips, include ways on how dads can contribute in order to help mums breastfeed better. The best way to reach dads right now is to always include dads in the narrative, even by just a little. Mums might even thank you for this since you’d be giving ideas on how they can be helped.

It’s possible for more dads to reveal more about themselves once we give them the motivation to talk, i.e actually include them in conversations.

Reach out to mums who can reach out to dads

Aside from social media and content, there’s another effective way of reaching out to dads – through their wives. 

The Dadvertising 2021 reports revealed that dads learned about theAsianparent through their wives. 74% of Indonesian dads and 72% of Filipino dads engage with theAsianparent because they heard about it from their wives. 

Other markets show close numbers.

Again, this is also about always including dads in the story when creating marketing materials. The more mums learn about things that include their husbands in the discussion, the more they talk about it with said husbands. 

This can potentially be very helpful if you’re looking to raise awareness among dads. It’s good for familiarisation that can start your fruitful journey when marketing to dads. 

Gamifying marketing materials

According to Tech in Asia, more than half of all gamers in the Philippines (58%), Singapore (88%), Malaysia (48%), Thailand (64%), Indonesia (73%), and Vietnam (70%) are male. 

A big percentage of these male gamers are within the 18-40 age bracket which covers Gen Z and Millennials. If you’re not yet aware, almost 100% of parents in the world are already within these generations. 

Using these statistics, we are now certain that a big chunk of dads in Southeast Asia are gamers. A lot of mums are probably gamers, too, based on Tech in Asia’s findings. Or, at least play some games every now and then.

Let’s add our own findings to strengthen this point, shall we?

In the Dadvertising 2021 reports, we found that 1 out of 4 Southeast Asian dads play educational games on gadgets with their children. Out of all markets though, Filipino dads do this the most with 43% of Pinoy dads playing educational games on gadgets with their kids.

1 out of 4 Southeast Asian dads play educational games on gadgets with their children

This is why gamifying marketing materials is something that could work wonders. Not only are games already engaging, but it helps dads spend more time with their kids as well. A win for the brand that can successfully produce good gamified materials, for dads, for kids, and for mums who’s going to be enjoying more me-time while their little one and dad play.

Remember those popular CD games being given away by companies almost two decades ago? The game Sneak King literally saved Burger King from bankruptcy. Let’s bring those back! 

Educational games (not on gadgets this time) are beloved as a bonding activity by Southeast Asian dads

The amount of money and time it costs to develop games are too much for some brands, though. Not every brand can also snag a partnership with Microsoft like Burger King. In that case, there are always other things that can be simpler. 

The Dadvertising 2021 reports revealed that one of Southeast Asian dads’ favourite bonding activities with their children is educational games (not on gadgets). A whopping 80% of Filipino dads spend their time playing educational games with their children. It seems that Filipino dads really love their educational games.

Filipino dads play the most educational games with their children. 80% outside of gadgets, 43% on gadgets

Think of anything fun that doesn’t involve the use of electronics. Maybe challenging puzzles in your packaging could work for your brand. But, the puzzles are really challenging and they interest dads or persuade kids to ask their dads for help. Free board games could be a good idea, too!

There are also other things that could be more engaging than your regular cereal box puzzle. The Dadvertising 2021 reports also revealed that dads are more likely to be interested in doing outdoor activities with their kids than mums. 

A weekly game event inside popular parks or outdoor spaces can become a really engaging activity when marketing to dads. However, the sky’s the limit and we can’t wait to see what your brands can come up with.

Gamify online content

Yes, we’re back to content. When marketing to dads, gamifying content will amp up the amount of engagement you get for the content you publish.

Like we mentioned earlier, dads love answering polls and participating in activities inside theAsianparent app. On average, 54% of Southeast Asian dads participate in such content within our app. Indonesian dads are the most engaged though, with a 65% total.

The reason why? When parents engage in our polls and activities, they receive rewards such as points, raffle entries, and etc. Gamifying marketing materials doesn’t have to be complicated.


Making marketing to dads a priority in 2022 is a move that can have a powerful impact on our society today. This impact can not only improve brands’ relationships with mums but also change the industry for the better by urging dads to become more involved in their families’ decisions at a more accelerated rate.

The changes in parenting roles are inevitable and they will still happen even without brands’ help. However, your brand can help make the transition more comfortable for both mums and dads. Allowing your brand to become a part of this process can create a strong and lasting relationship with families. 

If your brand is ready to take marketing to dads more seriously, theAsianparent Insights is here to help. Send us an email at [email protected] or click on the “Contact Us” page on our website.