The Michael Alan Group is a pretty cool place. But even we at MAG aren’t too cool to tell our mothers we love them. So as a tribute to all the MAG moms and all the moms of MAGsters, we’re going to bring you ten of our favorite Mother’s Day marketing campaigns.
Mother New York – Motherly Advice
It seems fitting to begin with a campaign from an agency that celebrates mom, well, every day. Mother New York knows best that there's nothing quite like motherly advice, and they decided to share this maternal wisdom with a stern, albeit loving outdoor campaign last year. The agency actually surveyed their own employees' moms for the material, so you can be certain each message is tender, heartfelt, and probably means business.
LG – #MomConfessions
Speaking of mother-generated content, LG had the idea of taking over a Times Square digital billboard to post the often-hilarious confessions of guilty mothers. LG’s “Mom’s Inner Voice” campaign was already well underway. TV spots featured disgruntled mothers being upstaged by their home appliances or else desperately seeking solace in them. But it wasn’t until Mother’s Day 2014 that the inner voices of consumer-mothers were heard. And once we heard those voices, we could never unhear them.
JustFab/FabKids – FabMom FunDay
JustFab saw how badly moms needed a day off and gave it to them. The apparel brand took over West Hollywood’s Au Fudge desert shop and invited a band of mommy bloggers to take a day for themselves. Au Pairs (get it?) were on site to play and craft with kids while mothers were pampered with scrumptious meals, rich deserts, new shoes, and some quality mom-to-mom bonding time. And as with any good experiential marketing influencer campaign, those bloggers were all sent home with JustFab giveaways to offer their followers.
Tesco – Breakfast in Bed
Letting mom off the hook doesn’t always mean taking the kids off her hands. Sometimes it means putting those kids to work. Tesco took Mother’s Day as an opportunity to promote its “childproof” recipes and launched spots featuring adorable disaster children whipping up breakfast in bed for their mothers. The gorgeous, pastel-heavy art direction kept these spots buoyant and playful even in the face of catastrophic kitchen messes.
Samsung – Texts From Mom
This Mother’s Day ad by Samsung features the many familiar texting faux pas that we’ve come to expect from our mothers. From incoherent grammar, to misused emojis, and beyond, Samsung reminded us to call our mothers — if for no other reason than because it’s easier than texting them.
Procter & Gamble – 2016 Olympic Games
For every eye-roll, tongue-in-cheek ad about mothers, there ought to be another of earnest celebration. And Procter & Gamble’s Olympics-themed spot was perhaps the all-time leader in that category. The ad harnessed the existing cultural awareness and enthusiasm surrounding the Olympic games to deliver a heart-warming reminder that for every Olympian, there’s a mother who trained them. Because, as P&G reminded us, “it takes someone strong to make someone strong.”
Teleflora – One Tough Mother
Speaking of strong mothers, the Teleflora flower delivery service took a break from depicting the gentle beauty of motherhood to celebrate the determination and toughness of our matriarchs. This Mother’s Day ad, which currently has 7 million views on YouTube, showed us the grit that motherhood takes. Set against Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi’s famous “Number One” speech, and coated in stark-but-epic grays and oranges, this spot pulls no punches in its direct and deliberate challenge of our gendered assumptions about the experience of motherhood.
American Greetings – The World's Toughest Job
As one MAG mother always likes to say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The American Greetings company found a very different way to salute the incredible work ethic of our mothers. This marketing stunt began with a job-posting spree advertising a vague employment opportunity for “Directors of Operations.” Millions of applicants encountered and steered clear of the outlandish job postings that demanded unlimited hours of work per week for no pay. But twenty-four folks did apply. And we’re grateful to them, because without them the world would never have seen this brilliant, award-winning Mother’s Day ad.
Jetblue — Flybaby
Not only do our mom’s put up with a lot of grief from their kids, but they also put up with a lot of grief from the adults around them. Any mother who’s ever flown with a baby knows what it’s like to get those dirty looks from strangers as they silently curse your existence. Jetblue took pity on mothers last year with an experiential marketing campaign geared toward de-stigmatizing crying babies. Every time a baby cried on select flights, all passengers were awarded 25% off their next Jetblue flight. The result: a plane full of previously grouchy sky-commuters celebrating the high pitched screams of their youngest co-passengers.
KFC — Tender Wings Of Desire
As we close out our Mother’s Day tribute, we’d like to tip our hats to a campaign that’s being launched for this Mother’s Day. And it is easily the strangest one yet: KFC’s Tender Wings of Desire. To be clear, that’s not the name of a campaign; it’s the name of a novel. An erotic novel to be precise. This year, KFC is celebrating motherhood by offering mothers a deeply rewarding read, free of charge, about a sexy colonel who made one woman’s most closely-guarded fantasies into a reality.