Watch this commercial and try not to get chills…I dare you:
Advertising like this is why people choose marketing as a career in the first place. Of course, once we enter the field, more technical priorities such as SEO, display advertising, social media, and marketing automation tend to power the marketing ecosystem. Still, it’s fun to celebrate efforts like the above that focus on evoking authentic emotion from viewers, connecting a brand almost tangentially through an experience that more closely resembles cinema than a television spot.
Proctor & Gamble has used moms as a focus in their advertising before, primarily in the 2014 Sochi Olympic games. The above commercial is also focused on the upcoming Olympic games in Rio, though of course it makes sense to release the spot ahead of time to align with Mothers Day. They say that you can’t target everyone with a marketing campaign, you have to be specific to win. However, mothers are a fairly universal connection for human beings, and brands are using that connection to engage on a deep emotional level with consumers. The “mom” tactic is especially powerful because we tend to retain many of our shopping behaviors from our mothers.
Research has confirmed what many of us already know, that grocery shopping, for example, is one of the most strictly engrained of all buying behaviors, partly due to early observation of our mothers’ (and fathers’) consistent shopping patterns. Taking it a step further, research led by Itamar Simonson, a Stanford University marketing professor, concluded some shopping behaviors and preferences may actually be genetically inherited by our parents.
Millennials are entering the realm of motherhood, with the average age of a first-time mother at 26 years old. This group maintains a strong nostalgic connection to their own mothers, looking to them for advice and parenting guidance. As a result, millennial moms are garnering enormous attention from marketers, and with good reason. A recent study by Goldman Sachs confirmed that an incredible $1 trillion is spent on children between the ages of 0 and 17 in the U.S. across housing, transportation, food, apparel, healthcare, childcare and education. Millennial moms are making value-based purchasing decisions, and want brands to align with their values. Additionally, as digital natives, they look for brands that understand technology and implement it within their marketing experiences.
Millennial moms are also highly social, with an average of 3.4 social media accounts. Interestingly, 55% of this cohort reports being frequently asked by others for purchasing recommendations, compared to only 39% of “total” moms.
So, what does this mean for brands? Well, the old method of “hooking” a mother through pure utility will no longer work on its own. Modern mothers have more complex purchasing considerations, and require that brands tap into their personalities with authentic, purposeful efforts. This is why campaigns such as Unilever’s Dove has had such success with their “Real Beauty” campaign, and the “Mother’s Beauty” extension they launched two years ago for Mother’s Day:
Authentic marketing experiences, emotion, as well as utility rule for the modern mom and the buying decisions she makes. While challenging, this reality also presents the opportunity for brands to do some pretty awesome campaigns as a result.
Image Source: Unsplash.com / By: London Scout