There is a point in many people’s adult life where their parents become real people, beyond the ones who raised you. Advertisers have long mined this moment to appeal to audience feelings about their parents with ads that make a connection between a product and these complicated emotions. 

The most recent example is a new spot from Quaker called, “You’ve Got This.” Created with agency Uncommon, and shot by award-winning director Charlotte Wells (Aftersun), it chronicles a father-son relationship from toddler to adulthood, and the consistent role a simple bowl of oatmeal has played. And will absolutely be a gut-punch in the feels for some fathers and sons, or really any parent and child.

It’s also the latest brand to use the passage of time in a relationship to both quickly grab viewers’ attention and not-so-subtly position their product as a reliable staple with meaning in their life. 

So, to distract you from getting almost all emosh at an oatmeal ad, here are five ads that most blatantly use dads to make you cry. Or at least make you call your mom or dad. 

2017 HP “Little Moments” 

Oh man, this one is a doozy. A dad desperately trying to hang on to relevance with his preteen daughter discovers that there still might be more to their relationship than eye-rolling and indifference.

2013 Extra Gum “Origami”

Another father-daughter tale, this time using a gum wrapper, of all things, to illustrate the cumulative impact of many (neatly folded) small gestures.

2017 Angel Soft “Just Dad”

Another coming-of-age montage, this time with a daughter and single dad. Here, Angel Soft is betting that the fastest way to your TP roll is through your heartstrings.

2018 VW Denmark “Generationer” 

A six-minute short film on the complicated issues between a grown son and his dad. 

2017 Mercedes “Be A Good Parent”

This short film is about an aging boomer who manages to appreciate his grown son’s artistic pursuits. While it doesn’t tap into the passage of time, it’s a rare look at the more-nuanced relationship between adult children and their parents.

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