How Mother’s Day Ads Stack Up: Not All Moms Agree

 

With Mother’s Day comes a whole lot of brands competing for a connection with mom all of a sudden. Sometimes the ads feel meaningful and memorable in message and insight, and sometimes they feel more like a last-minute drugstore scramble in the card aisle on the way to mom’s house. We asked a panel of moms around the country to give us their thoughts on a few of this year’s Mother’s Day ads, and we reviewed them as well — and although some brands are definitely doing it better than others, it should come as no surprise that not all moms feel universally the same when it comes to every ad. Here’s a little rundown on how they stacked up.

 

Similac: Sisterhood of Motherhood

This montage of mom moments (mom-ments?) had some elements that connected, but altogether didn’t feel memorable for the brand and were off-putting to some in their portrayal of mothers.

“This was cute but I feel like I’ve seen it before and probably better.”
Mom of 2 in Los Angeles, CA

 

“SIMILAC was trying to be funny, but it draws humor again from a gender stereotype — women hating each other and female bullying. I don’t like the idea that the company would benefit from promoting that stereotype.”
Mom of 2 in Portland, ME

 

“The line ‘Strength you never knew you had’ nails it. Makes me feel like I’m not alone.” Mom of 3 in Los Angeles, CA
 

“But where are their fucking partners!!! Why is this woman having to carry her sleeping baby outside to take out the trash?!!”
Mom of 1 with 1 on the way in Santa Monica, CA

 

SickKids Foundation: Momstrong

This ad was a tear-jerker that made moms feel, and was powerful enough to do the job the ad intended – get viewers to donate to a cause.

“It’s one of the best to me because it’s so raw and real. Although very sad, it’s empowering —because it makes me feel that inner strength the mom of a sick child is forced to tap into, that goes far beyond an ordinary mom.”
Mom of 2 in Los Angeles, CA

 

“This ad makes me want to donate to this foundation.”
Mom of 2 in Raleigh, NC

 

“Usually we only see the kids in these (types of) ads. I think we can all relate to that feeling of losing our shit and then having to pull it together and showing a strong face.” Mom of 1 with 1 on the way in Santa Monica, CA
 

“I want to help them after having watched this.”
Mom of 2 in Portland, ME

 

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese: Swear Like A Mother

Brands don’t always have to go the sentimental route for Mother’s Day, and when they use humor in a way that connects and is consistent with their brand, they win. Because motherhood is pretty #$!&%* funny sometimes.

“I appreciate brands with a sense of humor. This makes me like the brand even more.” Mom of a newborn in Orlando, FL
 

“Doesn’t do anything for me. It’s not that funny.”
Mom of 2 in Raleigh, NC

 

“Super funny. As a mom it makes me feel like we’re all equally screwing our kids up.”
Mom of twins in Ocala, FL

 

“I really REALLY wish that the mom was not depicted as so stay-at-homey.”
Mom of 2 in Portland, ME

 

American Greetings: Tattoo #GiveMeaning

Connecting with mom through emotional storytelling isn’t a new device — but is most effective and memorable when it is specific to what a brand is ultimately selling, which American Greetings does here.

“A fleeting text or email can’t compete with a greeting card when it comes to that personal element.”
Mom of 2 in Los Angeles, CA

 

“Damn, I have all the feels for this ad! It’s an ad that if I were seeing it a second time with someone, I would tell them to pay attention. Or I would mention it to someone in conversation.”
Mom of a newborn in Orlando, FL

 

“American Greetings made me feel just bad. I felt really fucking sad for the girl, hated being reminded of my mom’s mortality, and guilty for not saving the cards she sent me.”
Mom of 2 in Portland, ME

 

“Loved this one, maybe being a kid that has lost my mom. I cried at this one and I think it’s sweet that it’s focused on the idea that the things we do (or say, or write) for our kids stay with them long after we’re gone and you never know what they’ll hold on to.”
Mom of 1 with 1 on the way in Santa Monica, CA

 

Gap: Mama Said

Moms are looking for a realistic, non-superficial representation of motherhood, and this ad was falling short for most.

“Is this just a bunch of models dancing around? I haven’t been a mom for long, but so far, it doesn’t look like this.”
Mom of a newborn in Orlando, FL

 

“It felt pretty generic and slightly pandering. The whole ‘I’ve wanted to be a mother my whole life... I’m stronger than I thought...’ felt almost like a guy wrote it.”
Mom of 1 with 1 on the way in Santa Monica, CA

 

“I’m not loving my post baby body, so I have a hard time relating to the more Hollywood depiction of what mom-bod looks like.”
Mom of 2 in Portland, ME

 

KFC: Tender Wings of Desire

This ad is not really targeted towards moms so it’s not really fair to stack it up against the others, but we decided to include it anyway, because why not? Moms are still seeing this ad, and many of them were not digging it.

“Kind of makes me feel like all moms are ‘over the hill.’ If you’re a mom, your real-life romance is over and you have to rely on cheesy novels.”
Mom of a newborn in Orlando, FL

 

“I can’t get past the “this mother’s day, let Colonel Sanders take care of dinner.” There’s no other inference to be drawn than that it’s mom job to make dinner otherwise. Ew. That’s not me, not my mom, and not the message I want either of my kids to receive about momming.”
Mom of 2 in Portland, ME

 

“I still like that KFC has a sense of humor, but this wasn’t their funniest ad.”
Mom of a newborn in Orlando, FL

 
 
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