Gift time ... Dads get cards and vouchers, research says.

Gift time ... Dads get cards and vouchers, research says.

Dads around Australia probably won't get whatever their heart desires for Father's Day on Sunday: cheap and cheerful will be the order of the day, in a marked contrast to the usual Mother's Day splurge.

The average Australian will spend just $28.26 on their dad this Father's Day, research from IBISWorld has found, less than half the $60 spent on each mum for Mother's Day in May.

Father's Day was created in the United States in the early 20th century in response to the much older tradition of Mother's Day 

Father's Day cards are likely to be accompanied by gift vouchers - one of the most popular options for presents, after eating out at a cheap restaurant or pub, and electrical goods, such as shavers and power tools.

Father's Day was created in the United States in the early 20th century in response to the much older tradition of Mother's Day, but has been viewed as more a marketing activity than a genuine celebration.

Another challenge is the expensive wish-lists dads tend to have.

"Sporting goods, apparel and electrical gadgets tend to be more expensive, so those things aren't going to be seen as suitable gifts," IBISWorld senior analyst Craig Shulman said.

"Instead dads get gift cards to go towards the price, or they get cheaper gifts."

Media director at advertising group The Holla Agency, Bernadette Boyd, says advertisers always spend more money on Mother's Day than on Father's Day.

Boyd says promotional campaigns were mounted for Mother's Day lunches, but not for Father's Day.

There is an understanding among advertisers generally that there is not as much spending associated with Father's Day, she says.

"On Mother's Day people spend a lot more because the mother is the one doing everything in the home, so they take her out to lunch," Boyd says.

"Whereas for Father's Day the mother tends to look after the father in the home so they don't tend to go out as much."

AAP pt/jca

Visit Essential Kids for Father's Day cards, activities and recipes.