When I was in first grade, I decided to buy my mom a Mother’s Day present using my own money. I didn’t have a lot of dough at six years old. After all, my only source of income was money from the tooth fairy and the occasional dollar bill tucked inside of a birthday card. But I was determined. So I gathered up my change and searched the house for loose coins. With my pennies and nickels in hand, I walked over to the neighborhood candy and gift shop Winkies.
Once there, I scoured the shelves for a present that I could afford on a one dollar budget. Then, I saw it: a beautiful vase for 99 cents. It may have been made out of plastic, but in my eyes it was as striking as Swarovski crystal. It was perfect.
I brought the vase over to the register where I dumped my change onto the counter. The cashier counted my coins, and then told me some startling news. “You don’t have enough,” she says. Bewildered, I assured her that she was wrong. “Oh no,” I said. “This vase costs 99 cents.” “Yes,” she agreed. “But with tax, it comes out to $1.05.”
Tax? What’s this tax thing she’s talking about? I thought. My six-year-old self had never heard of such a concept. “Why would you list the price at 99 cents if the vase cost $1.05?” I argued. But the cashier remained firm and held onto the vase.
Not wanting to leave empty handed or make the five-block trek home—that’s quite far when you have little legs—I told the cashier to hold on and I again started scouring for loose change.
After a few minutes of searching, I managed to locate a dime. I’m pretty sure a nice man watching my feverish search dropped it for me to find. I plopped the dime on the counter, took the tissue-wrapped vase from the cashier, and walked back home beaming with pride.
On Mother’s Day, I gave my mom the vase and proudly told her how I paid for it all by myself. I even told her about my first unpleasant experience with tax. But unlike me at the time, she was quite familiar with the concept. To this day, my mom says that the vase is still one of the best gifts that I have ever given her. Why? Because she knew how heartfelt it was and how hard I worked to get it for her. But that’s what moms do every day, right? They go the extra mile and work tirelessly to ensure that their children are fed, healthy, happy, and loved.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, marketers are striving to produce the most tear-jerking, warm-fuzzy-inducing messages in the industry—all to convince consumers that the brand’s products are just what they need to thank Mom for all that she’s done. But condensing all of moms’ sacrifices and love into one 30-second spot isn’t easy. However, the following five brands, in my opinion, have succeeded by relying on storytelling, cutting back on overt branding, and relating to moms by acknowledging all that they do.
Minute Maid’s “Parents #doingood” video is one of the more recent odes to moms. In the digital ad, the juice brand asks moms and dads to describe how they think they’re doing as a parent. After hearing their responses, Minute Maid asks the parents to read letters from their kids in which they describe their mom’s or dad’s parenting abilities—enforcing the brand’s message that “you’re doing better than you think.” Bring on the tissues.
The video, which was uploaded to YouTube on April 26, has more than 385,000 views on the brand’s official channel. Minute Maid also included a link in the film’s description that takes viewers to its website, which includes details about its products, as well as parenting articles—such as tips for better mother-daughter communication and recipes for making rock candy.
Not only does this ad pull on consumers’ heartstrings, but it also offers parents a valuable resource that they can revisit—once again reinforcing the power of quality content.
“The Unique Connection” by jewelry company Pandora is another relatively recent mommy marketing move. In the ad, blindfolded children are guided toward a lineup of women and asked to identify their mothers based on their other senses and instincts. Of course, the video shows the young participants succeeding. Here come the water works.
This video, which has garnered more than 14.6 million YouTube views on the brand’s official channel, does an excellent job of aligning its brand message with the story’s message: Just as jewelry is unique, every woman is different and every connection a mother has with her child is one of a kind.
My mother was quite loyal to the Pampers brand when my brother and I were babies—but that’s not why I chose this ad. The video, “Mom’s First Birthday” by Pampers Japan, illustrates the hardships and fears women take on during their first year of motherhood.
The best part about this video is that you forget that it’s even a diaper commercial until the Procter & Gamble-owned company flashes its logo at the end. The film, which now has more than 4.6 million views on the brand’s YouTube channel, also resonates with new moms and takes moms with older children on a trip down memory lane.
Acknowledging consumers’ life experiences and pain points is always important, especially when trying to relate to a core audience. But showing appreciation for all that your customers do shows that you value them on an entirely different level. Pampers even takes this appreciation one step further by including a link in the video descriptions that, when clicked on, takes viewers to a page where they can send their own thank you notes.
Yes, it’s another P&G commercial. What can I say? The consumer goods company knows good storytelling.
“Pick Them Back Up” was part of P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, as well as a sequel to the “Best Job” film, which debuted at the London 2012 Olympic Games and earned more than 21 million views. The film, which premiered in January 2015, features the mothers of four athletes from around the world and how these women encourage their children to fulfill their dreams, even when they stumble on their journeys to achieve them. When I first wrote about the spot just three days after it originally debuted, it had already earned more than 2.8 million views on the brand’s official YouTube channel.
Consumers’ relationship with P&G evolves as their lives evolve. From diapers to shaving razors, consumers can turn to P&G to fulfill multiple needs as they grow—but only if that brand trust is established early on. Brands need to prove that they understands their customers. And whether the consumer is the mom of a toddling baby or the parent of an Olympic athlete, P&G understands that all moms share similar experiences—like teaching their children to walk, comforting them when they fall, and feeling their pain when they fail. And just as how mom is always there, P&G wants to reinforce that it will be there for every stage in life, too.
Cardstore.com (American Greetings)
“World’s Toughest Job” is a favorite because it encompasses an element of surprise. In the April 2014 ad, a recruiter interviews candidates for a director of operations position. As the recruiter explains to the candidates that the job requires them to be on their feet all day, work unlimited hours, and refrain from taking any breaks, many of the potential hires question who even would take on such a role. The recruiter insists, however, that there are already billions of people who do—moms. The video concludes with candidates thinking about their own moms, and a call-to-action to send a card on Mother’s Day appears on the screen.
So far this video has garnered nearly 23.5 million YouTube views and definitely includes a surprise-and-delight factor; plus it sends a clear call-to-action in an appeasing way. Consumers know that they should buy a card for their mom on Mother’s Day. But instead of simply reminding them to do so, Cardstore.com, owned by American Greetings, takes a creative route to remind them why they should.
In today’s world, consumers are bombarded with messages of what to buy and where to buy it. It’s important for brands to find innovative ways to stand out and ensure that their messages are heard loud and clear.