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Mother’s Day Marketing Gets Creative; Spending Expected To Reach $23.6B

H.B. Duran|

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate family—with gifts, of course—and spending is expected to reach a record-breaking $23.6 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Warm Greetings

Around 133 million Mother’s Day cards are exchanged each year in the US, and nearly 78 percent of NRF survey participants plan on including a card in their celebrations on Sunday.

Hallmark is making a push to drive awareness among millennials with a new campaign called “Every Mom has a Signature.” The ad, backed by Meghan Trainor’s song “Mom,” introduces Hallmark’s new Signature line complete with 24 new Mother’s Day designs. In addition, the company is rolling out a collection of premium Signature cards in Spanish.

American Greetings took the idea of a signature even further with its campaign, “Give Meaning.” Inspired by a true story, the ad portrays a young woman getting her first tattoo. Rather than a rose or a name, the woman gets a simple, hand-written phrase—”keep shining”—which as it turns out was written by her deceased mother in a birthday card. The emotional ad drives a powerful message about the deep, long-lasting meaning a greeting card can be.

Love In Bloom

Of course, flowers are a tradition for the holiday as well, with 68.5 percent planning to shower mom with bouquets. A survey by FTD found that 76 percent of mothers prefer flowers (76 percent) over plants (64 percent), jewelry (44 percent) and candy (42 percent) if they were to choose their own gifts. Second only to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day is a top-selling day for florists.

Floral delivery service Teleflora is running a campaign called “Just Like Her” that focuses on all the traits we learn from our mothers. Using the hashtag #ImJustLikeHer, the company is encouraging family members to share what they’ve learned from courage to compassion or even stubbornness across Twitter through Sunday. Last year’s campaign “One Tough Mother” has been viewed over 6.8 million times.

Taste The Togetherness

There’s a reason people claim their recipe is “just like mom used to make”—we tie strong, emotional bonds to food, especially food prepared for us in our youth.

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is celebrating when motherhood doesn’t always go right by teaming up with Melissa Mohr, author of Holy Sh*T: A Brief History of Swearing. “Swear Like a Mother” embraces the idea that moms sometimes need to swear, and that’s okay. Mohr offers some alternative swear words moms can use around the little ones but when it’s been one of those days—specially marked boxes of Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese include a pair of ear plugs.

Mother’s Day is a great excuse to give mom a break on cooking, and the NRF found that over half (55.9 percent) of respondents plan on taking her out for a special outing such as dinner.

KFC is celebrating mom on its busiest day of the year with a spicy little romance novella called “Tender Wings of Desire.” This hilarious marketing push stars Colonel Sanders as a sailor with a mysterious past who falls into a passionate love affair with a woman named Madelyn. The 92-page book is available for free on Amazon, but 100 fans on Facebook will have the chance to win dinner and a hard copy of the book.

Moms Know Messes

Brawny teamed up with four real families and strapped Snapchat Spectacles to their children to illustrate motherhood from a child’s point of view. Over the course of four days, these kids made a lot of messes—illustrated in the ad called, “Once a Mother, Always a Giant.”

“In celebration of Mother’s Day this year, we wanted to honor the strength and resilience that mothers rely on to overcome their daily challenges,” Gary Gastel, senior brand director at Brawny, told Adweek. “As a brand that has been an icon of strength, we felt Brawny could help bring attention to that unparalleled resilience.”

Don’t Forget Dad

FTD found that only six percent of dads thought they should buy a Mother’s Day gift, compared to 47 percent of moms. However, men who do give on Mother’s Day spend an average of $54 more than their female counterparts. Of all the people (besides children) mom gets gifts from this time of year, husbands still come in at No. 1—albeit at 20 percent.

Men are also more emotionally impacted by video ads, studies show.

“Dad is about 20 percent more likely to engage with a digital video ad [compared to other consumers],” Devra Prywes, senior vice president of marketing and insights at Unruly, shared on stage at Newfronts.

Prywes also said that fathers are 52 percent more likely to share a video ad on social networks than other consumer segments.

Data Science = Bullseye Creative