The Big Fish story is a nearly universal experience propagated by dads everywhere. They’re not always about fish, of course, but tall tales handed down from father to child become family stories told around the dinner table every Thanksgiving. They’re part of the fabric of American life.
As are power tools. Or, at least, that is the impression we get from Craftsman’s Father’s Day 2015 campaign. These are the tools you can build a story around.
Craftsman’s campaign works on multiple levels to attract very specific segments of Craftsman’s target audience. Let’s break it down.
Concept: The advertising video, created by Havas Chicago, develops around a hypothetical adventure a father had back in the ‘80s. The narration style and action-figure visuals speak to two different targets simultaneously:
- On one hand, we have the visuals of the father’s story interpreted by action figure-like toys. Along with the copy, this speaks to the children watching the ad, grooming them to be future Craftsman tools buyers.
- On the other hand we have the bedtime story narrated by the father to the child, told from the father’s point of view. This parts speaks to the fathers, representing Craftsman’s current customers.
How well did Craftsman’s ad fit the company’s actual customers? Could this commercial have been better designed?
Let’s examine the age distribution of Craftsman’s target market. Craftsman’s audience is fairly evenly distributed in every age range starting from 18-year-olds onward, but it outperforms in the ranges of 35 and up. This population constitutes 47% of their total audience.
Since Craftsman’s advertisement focused primarily on the father’s perspective, we decided to focus our analysis on that particular sub segment of their audience to see how well the messaging aligns with the brand’s target. This segment is composed of individuals who are almost equally distributed between the age ranges of 35 to 44 and 45 to 54, with 74% of them having families.
We began analyzing the elements displayed in the advertisement starting with the setting in which the story develops - what is, essentially, an action movie. Among the 35-54-year-old male demographic, Action and Adventure movies have a wide Reach (35.1%) and high Relevance (144.4%), making this backdrop an appropriate choice.
The advertisement also leverages the musical tastes of the target, which we analyzed. We found a strong orientation toward Rock music for nearly half of the audience (48.7% Reach), and most in this demographic like the Classic Rock & Oldies genre, with high Reach and Relevance indexes for other rock-related genres as well.
The third element highlighted by the ad is the motorcycle. The story itself is presented as father’s motorcycle story and even if car brands are catching the attention of most of the audience (39% interested in cars) motorcycles could be the right choice, having slightly lower Reach (22.27%) and resulting as the more relevant transportation vehicle for the target (151.1%).
Craftsman clearly built an advertisement tailored around its audience’s passions. Mixing adventure, rock music and motorcycles, it well represented their target segment, while speaking to their deeper motivations: All fathers want their children to be proud of them.
Opportunities: As we moved among the target’s interests we couldn’t avoid noticing how the target is inspired by hunting and fishing activities. If you look at the target’s top interests, you won’t find motorcycles or rock music in first place - you’ll find Cabela’s (an outdoor recreation retailer) with a Relevance index of 151.3%, and Bass Pro Shops at 149.8% (both with high Reach scores).
This made us think at the last part of the advertisement, in which the father ends the story by telling his child that he won the arm wrestling world championship, could have been improved.
To check our theory, we created a ranking table composed of 16 sports to see if arm wrestling or combat related sports really are aligned with the target demographic’s preferences. As expected, Fishing & Hunting are the two sports that engage the audience the most, with Fishing in first place (167.92% Relevance) and Hunting just after (at 165.47% Relevance). Coming in third is Motors. Far down at the bottom, failing to achieve a Relevance index of even 100% (to be Relevant, numbers should be higher than 100%), is Combat Sports.
Craftsman’s advertisement is extremely well done and is tightly tailored to the target’s tastes. But, judging by audience behavior and preferences, we think that adding more connections to Hunting & Fishing activities could have offered an even more engaging story.
Perhaps the story should have ended with the father bravely battling the wolves and taking home a few pelts for souvenirs, or speeding down to Mexico and catching a record-breaking marlin? Then again, perhaps going against type in this last scene emphasizes the idea that the father is not the most reliable narrator, adding to the tall tale feel.
Either way, the closing catchphrase is right on target:
“This is Father’s Day. Buy Dad a tool worth bragging about.”
For Craftsman - this is an ad worth bragging about.