What do dads really want for Father's Day? According to the avalanche of advertising right now, the formula is pretty simple.
Deep down, all dads yearn for booze, BBQs, booze-based BBQ sauces, jerky, power tools, deodorant (thanks Aldi!), beard trimmers, box sets of ancient TV shows, books on war, loud shirts, liquorice and a wacky pair of novelty socks.
Sure it's a solid list – if you still live in the 1970s – but modern dads might lust for something more imaginative and less clichéd. Although admittedly, we don't cop it half as bad as mums on Mother's Day, with its floral flood of pink perfumes, stick vacs and pamper packs.
It's a solid list – if you still live in the 1970s – but modern dads might lust for something more imaginative
If you want to side-step the stale stereotypes this weekend, here's some more creative gift suggestions to make your favourite fella feel special. We're assuming you've got the hand-written card and World's Best Dad mug sorted already.
1. Music to his ears
Give dad an earful with a great pair of headphones. He can wear them working from home, or listen to a quiet podcast if he's up settling bub at 2am. They're also good for gaming and even better at blocking out the millionth episode of Peppa Pig if he just needs peace and quiet.
Best of all, if his music tastes don't suit the rest of the family's, he can crank his favourite tracks from his misspent youth without doing your head in.
Headphones are great for work or play, or blocking out Peppa Pig.
2. Witness the fitness
As a parent, sometimes you just want to run out the door screaming. Channel that energy into exercise instead and keep your finger on your pulse with a fitness tracker or sporty smart watch.
Not only does it help any dad reach his fitness goals, a tracker's combination of reward buzzes and guilt-ridden notifications is certain to get him hitting those 10,000 steps a day and beyond.
3. Play it loud, dad!
If you actually do like dad's music collection, then consider splashing out on a wireless speaker instead. There's a wide array out there to suit your budget and his style, and some are portable so he can pump out the jams at the next family do, BBQ or holiday away.
Turn it up to 11, Dad!
Iconic rock brand Marshall even make a range of speakers that look like guitar amps, so dad can simultaneously play his favourite songs AND have flashbacks to his garage band days when he was just one hit away from making the big time.
4. The gift that keeps giving
What's better than one present on one day? Multiple presents over many days. Signing dad up for a gift subscription is a great way to keep the Father's Day magic alive for longer. Plus it's always nice to get mail that isn't a bill or an annoying real estate agent trying to sell your house.
A gift subscription is a great way to keep the Father's Day magic alive for longer
These days, you can get nifty subscriptions for almost everything: books, craft beer, coffee, wine, cheese, whiskeys from around the world, and even plants if he's a bit of a green thumb. Just make sure you're getting good value from the deal, and can opt out when you need to easily.
Coffee makes everything better, even parenting.
5. Mister barista
Whether he's working from home or needs a caffeine kick after a few sleepless nights with the kids, a new coffee machine is the perfect fix for any bleary-eyed father.
It could be a home espresso set-up, a pod machine, or a non-espresso option like a drip or vacuum brew. Not only does he get a new gadget to play with, the whole house can enjoy a decent cuppa, so everyone wins.
6. The mother of all TVs
What do you get a dad that has everything? This new $35,995 OLED TV from LG.
Imagine the look on his face when he unwraps this eye-watering 77-inch monster, which measures almost two metres across. Then imagine the look on his face when you tell him you had to sell his car to buy it. He'll be speechless. For days.
Imagine the look on his face when he unwraps this eye-watering 77-inch monster
Okay, we're joking, but a smaller model could make a great gift as a second telly for the shed, bedroom or study, if he can ever find the time to play his old PS3.
7. Vac to the future
There's no way a vacuum cleaner can be classed as a cool present – unless it's a robot! If you have any doubts that a droid isn't a great option, Google 'cat on robovac' and transform your life, or at least have a giggle.
"Exterminate! Exterminate... dirt!" Good joke, Pa.
How do robot vacs perform in our product tests? Not as good as old-fashioned stick or barrel vacs to be honest, but hey, they require you to push them and they're hardly as fun for any sci-fi-loving, robot-dancing dad. Or your cat.
Just don't buy him this robo vac from Aldi – unless you also get him a broom.
8. The vinyl frontier
A record turntable will draw tears of joy whether your dad is 26, 46 or 76. The young hipster dad will immediately head to eBay to buy vinyl records of albums he has on a Spotify playlist. The middle-age dad, after bemoaning all the vinyl records he threw out and replaced with CDs, will head down to the music store and pay five times the price to get them all back.
The older dad (and maybe grandad) will wander down into the garage and pull out the crates of vinyl he's been storing for decades. Either way, they'll all be happy. Plus some turntables let you connect to a computer and convert your records to digital formats so you can play your favourite tracks on other music players too.