A Perth based website, launched 18 months ago, has been acclaimed as the best of its kind in Australia by marketing and media
Reason enough, you might think, for its creators, WA health fund HBF, to celebrate. Except that awards
- both national and international - are nothing new for Direct Advice 4 Dads, a website devoted solely to providing information
and advice for new and expecting Aussie fathers.
Starting a family is a key driver for taking out health insurance, and HBF wanted to do something to support young families
in this special phase of their lives. But with so much information already available for new parents, HBF knew they would
need to create something truly unique if they were going to stand out from the crowd.
Three years ago, HBF’s Head of Content, Ciara Meyler, identified an untapped audience.
Ciara’s research showed that dads were often forgotten in the journey of starting a family. She discovered that men who were
expecting a baby, or had recently become fathers, were actively seeking information and support online, but finding little
tailored to their needs.
“When we looked into it further, we found there’s actually tonnes of information ‘for dads’, it’s just buried deep in the
sub-sections of pink and purple websites, where most of the content is written by and for mums. Unsurprisingly it isn’t
something that resonates with Australian men,” Ciara says.
“We wanted to create a resource ‘just for dads’ and give them a space to connect with other dads who are going through similar
experiences. We believed that by helping dads, it would in turn help mums who have given up leaving those hefty baby
books strategically lying around the house.”
The result was Direct Advice 4 Dads (DAD), a WA developed
website providing a much-needed resource for those experiencing the joys, fears and tears, of new fatherhood.
All of the content on the DAD site is created for dads by dads, offering information and advice based on the honest, unfiltered,
experiences of dad-writers Australia-wide. Topics include ‘ The importance of wrestling with your toddler’, ‘How to actually
feel useful when she’s breastfeeding’ and ‘ How I (really) felt watching my wife give birth’.
It’s a website that honours and respects new fathers rather than presenting them as the bumbling idiots so often portrayed
in other media.
“We thought it was important to recognise that Aussie dads are hands on, competent parents, who love their kids every bit
as much as mums.” Ciara says.
Since launching on Father’s Day in 2016, over 675,000 people have visited the Direct Advice for Dads website and it has amassed
a loyal and engaged fan base of over 65,000 followers on Facebook.
DAD has also been internationally recognised in the USA, UK and Australia, winning 10 awards in under a year, including the
Pearl Awards in New York and Content Marking Institute’s International Content Marketing Awards.
DAD’s latest accolade, for ‘Best Use of Owned Media’ came in the 2018 Mumbrella CommsCon Awards. This award recognises the
best work by brands in marketing themselves through the creation of digital content.
For Ciara Meyler, the awards are confirmation that the HBF Content team and its many dad authors have developed a boutique
publication that can hold its own amongst the best in the world.
More importantly, Ciara knows from the comments and feedback of thousands of new fathers that DAD is filling an information
gap and successfully meeting the needs of new dads and their young families.
“We consistently receive feedback from our followers encouraging us to “keep up the good work”, and heartfelt messages like:
“You don’t know how many lives you are saving with this page.” It’s so rewarding and really makes it all worthwhile”.
This initiative was made possible through a collaboration with content marketing agency Mahlab, who work closely with HBF
to bring the DAD vision to life.