Move over Diwali, move over Christmas and move over Valentine’s Day. Mother’s Day in 2017 has become the new marketing calendar showstopper.
Mother’s Day may have started off as anti-war movement in US, but now it has been fully embraced by India. There may be small parallels in India to Mother’s Day with events like Durga Puja in the East or Lakshmi Puja in the North, but there is no universal day that celebrates the bond between mother and children and her role as the nurturer. The day may have contributed a massive amount to the kitty of brands this year, restaurants, florists and Internet data providers. If there is someone tracking the spends, I won’t be surprised if the money is not coming close to what we spend on Diwali (minus the jewellery).
India has seen a tear fest this year with brand after brand making heartfelt emotional films about mothers, about her toughness, about the lessons that she imparted, about how the new generation has abandoned mother for connected devices, about how she is the keeper of family flame, even fathers as mothers and the caretaker as being mother like. This year the sheer volume of Mother’s day messages was staggering. Did the message come from reality of the brand? Did it work for the brand? I guess in the drive for getting social conversation going, sometimes the message is more.
The only message or forward I didn't get was either about Bharat Mata or the Holy Mother Cow.
In this maze of sameness and emotional overkill, for me the spot that stood out for the Mother’s Day was from Preganews.
Pregnancy and workplace is not a theme that I have even seen. For a brand to create a sensitive narrative around expectant mothers and do it in a non-preachy way is commendable. The spot did hit a tender spot with many new mothers sharing their own experiences on how the workplace did make it easier for them when they were pregnant. The brand did not let itself get carried away and become bigger than the narrative. It was among the earlier brands to release the ad, and it did continue to stand out despite a barrage of mass hysteria.
It’s not that internally there was any dearth of Mother’s day messages from brands. Proctor and Gamble every year has been doing ads around Mother’s day. The mom song that they created or even the Vicks ad they did this year are commercials that were celebrating the theme.
Internationally, Gap and Kraft Mac and Cheese did something that stood out for me.
Both the brands used social influencers to create campaigns that spoke the language of today, did not have an emotional overkill and were true to the brand.
Gap used models Candice Swanepoel and Coco Rocha, and actresses Liv Tyler, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Cass & Ali Bird, in a campaign is tiled #MamaSaid and has the ladies' gorgeous children star with them. The brand celebrated the bond between mother and child by showcasing them in Gap ensembles. They also tied up with a voluntary organisation to raise funds for them.
Kraft Mac and Cheese did a hilarious campaign with social influencer and author Melissa Mohr, author of "Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing"
They also created a website called swearlikeamother.com where the kids can go and download silly Mother’s day cards and make them feel good about their own antics. The campaign is hilarious at many levels, biggest being the acknowledgement that Kraft Mac and Cheese is not about good parenting or nurturing. By acknowledging that the language of today is a problem, they made the brand a part of contemporary lingo.
Mother’s Day has now come and gone. Father’s Day is around the corner, now will fathers get their share of noise?
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