Tearjerker ads tug on parents’ heartstrings

It’s not often I can sit the whole way through an ad without flicking the channel. This week, I’ve seen several that I not only watched in full, but have replayed over and over again.

Products for babies and children are ready-made to play on the emotional rollercoaster that is parenting. But every now and then one comes up that does a particularly good job of it.

Take this ad, for example, which follows a series of baby “firsts” – from ultrasound to birth to smiles and beyond. The Pampers ad has already been seen on YouTube more than 1.3 million times. Here’s why:


Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week (or just really hate sports), you’ll know that America’s sporting event of the year –  Super Bowl – was played. The half-time entertainment and ads are as much of a spectacle as the game itself, and this year was no exception.

The most talked-about ad on social media, according to TechCrunch, was a brilliant commercial that first shows older kids and teens being asked to show what it means to run, fight and throw “like a girl”. It then asks younger children the same thing. The Always #LikeAGirl ad – a commentary on girls’ plummeting confidence during puberty – is hugely powerful. “Let’s make #LikeAGirl mean amazing things,” it ends. Take a look:

It seems parents were firmly in Super Bowl advertisers’ sights this year. This thought-provoking commercial for Nationwide Insurance highlights dangers around the home:

Ads aimed at dads – and their important role in a family – were also popular, such as this from Dove:

And these tear-jerkers by Nissan and Toyota respectively:

What do you think? What’s your favourite ad of all time?

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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