If you went to any big box retailer in the past two weeks, there’s no way you missed the slew of sales on grills, tools, menswear, mixed nuts, and watches. Granted stores don’t take it to the same level as Mother’s Day, but manly advertising is all over the place in June.

Even though you can get crazy good deals on grill tongs, ties, and golf clubs in June, the sentiment is changing.

dove-fathers-day-20142014 saw a number of ads that were heartfelt celebrations of fatherhood. Dove, of course, was at the forefront with their #RealDadMoments campaign that might just make you cry. It’s a celebration of real fatherhood – the nitty-gritty. Tears. Potty training. Late nights. Driving lessons. The hugs. Kisses. It goes hand in hand with the rest of Dove’s excellent marketing – real beauty moments, how beautiful a mother’s body is (#beautyis). Dove took it’s marketing to another level and engaged a few bloggers to give away some of their men’s products, accompanied with the video and a product review.

In a similar vein I noticed one of my friends instagramming a picture of her husband and kids to enter a giveaway. Intrigued, I investigated and saw that popular Mommy Blogger, Mommy Shorts was hosting a contest for a Dyson Motorhead Vaccum. Dyson sponsored this contest which required entrants to instagram photos of their husbands (or significant others) doing “what’s sexy now” with their kids. Playing house, reading Goodnight Moon (for the millionth time), cooking with them, and more. To enter, you have to tag the photo with #DysonDads. When I checked today, there were 987 photos tagged with #DysonDads and still 12 days left to enter the contest.   Blogger outreach, contests, and giveaways are great marketing tactic, but what I liked best is how it Dyson was celebrating dads who are involved in their kids lives and doing “what’s sexy now” which is quite simply, just being a good dad.

Dockers created a similar campaign this year – #stopdadpants. The campaign had two parts, and the better of the two featured former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Jon Gruden giving a “locker room pep talk” to a group of new and seasoned dads. The ad was a combination of funny and sincere, giving respect to the role these guys played in their families. “It’s the hardest job you’ll ever do in your life,” says Gruden, “but it’s the most rewarding.” For Dockers, the ad was aimed to stop the “dad pants” problem (you know, too big, too short, too tight, pleated, wrinkled, etc), and Gruden’s callout to Dockers in the ad seems forced. Unfortunately, many have always equated Dockers with “dad pants.” It’s a good ad, but they might have some more work to do with their brand image.

I’m glad to see brands making an effort with their Fathers Day marketing this year. When dads are portrayed in media as something of a joke (think Phil Dunphy from Modern Family), it’s a step in the right direction for marketers finding creative ways to show Dad for who he really is.