According to the National Retail Federation, last year total spending around Mother’s Day hit a record $23.6 billion. The annual survey, that looks at spending for the yearly holiday, predicted that people aged 35-44 would be the biggest spenders, spending an an average $224 each. The survey lead the National Retail Federation to predict that 35% of consumers will shop at department stores, 31% will shop online and 29% will shop at specialty stores like florists, jewelers or electronics retailers.
According to the survey, 86% of Americans were expected to celebrate Mother’s Day in 2017 and spend an average of $180 per person. This year, spending is expected to surpass that total.
Each year, thousands of companies work to get a piece of the billions of dollars being spent by developing creative marketing campaigns tailored specifically toward the holiday. And recognizing the potential, businesses are currently executing innovative campaigns to set themselves apart in the flood of advertisements and make sure their company is the one consumers turn to to celebrate Mother’s Day.
In 2016, Rose & Grey launched a campaign featuring their founders’ childhood photos. Nowadays, nostalgia is at an all-time high and for many these photos evoked memories of their own childhoods. Because Rose & Grey specializes in vintage furniture and home goods, this campaign was a perfect fit, depicting families wearing vintage styles or set in vintage surroundings.
Those campaigns that are most effective, like Rose & Grey’s are the ones that reach consumers on a personal level. And nostalgia marketing resonates with people because a trip down memory lane is often full of fond memories. If you are part of Generation X, think about how you feel when you stumble upon a Pac-Man console in a bar or when you see anything related to Super Mario Bros. Being reminded of the happiness people felt at a former time or place undeniably brings them joy. In addition, nostalgia marketing is quite popular with Millennials too, the generation with the most spending power in 2018.
Let’s take a look at three current marketing campaigns sure to bring in consumers this Mother’s Day, and what we can learn from them.
Boots UK #Show Them You Know Them Campaign
Boots UK is a pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Thailand and other territories. And while this might not seem like the store consumers would turn to when shopping for gifts, the chain has launched a series of engaging marketing campaigns for several holidays and their latest for Mother’s Day is another hit.
Boots UK’s #ShowThemYouKnowThem campaign emphasizes that one size doesn’t fit all. Often times people are placed in boxes and stereotyped according to their roles in society. But Boots UK’s advertisement emphasizes that each mother is unique. The kind of gift that would be perfect for one mother or other important female figure isn’t perfect for all of the women who occupy these roles. For that reason, the advertisement doesn’t even prominently feature any of Boots’ products. Instead the gift-givers present wrapped packages. The gifts are important, but also important are the words the gift-givers express to these women, recognizing them for how they positively impact their lives. Only at the end of the advertisement do viewers learn Boots is also offering consumers a deal: more than half off on Mother’s Day gifts.
This campaign touches on a sales tactic that has been gaining popularity for quite some time now: personalization. While the gifts Boots is promoting aren’t personalized, the idea that they are thoughtful and specifically chosen with the gift recipient’s personality in mind, gives them a personalized touch. According to one study, 48% of US marketers reported that personalization on their websites or apps lifted revenues in excess of 10%.
Pandora’s “My Strong Mother” Campaign
To many it might seem that Pandora has the Mother’s Day market cornered. The Danish jewelry company’s best seller over the years has been charm bracelets that can be customized to reflect a wearers unique interests and characteristics. But since Pandora emerged on the jewelry scene, a number of other jewelry manufacturers have begun to eat up its market share with similar bracelets and necklaces that are customizable.
This year, Pandora is setting themselves apart from the pack with a brief advertisement that depicts a woman changing a tire. “My Strong Mother,” the ad reads at the end. “Celebrate who she is this Mother’s Day.” Though simple in its execution, this ad speaks to the power and strength of women, appealing to those consumers who prize feminism and relate to an image of a strong female figure.
In a study by SYN (State of the Youth Nation), 1,000 people in the UK between the ages of 16-24 were surveyed and 65% agreed that the way brands depict women is generally too sexualized, with only 14% disagreeing.
At a time where female empowerment has taken center stage, whether it be the #MeToo movement, the Women’s March or the speeches at the SAG Awards, portraying women in a positive light and position of strength is not only well received, but an important message.
Alex and Ani’s “Symbolize Your Love” Campaign
There’s no doubt that jewelry is the biggest seller for Mother’s Day and for this reason, as previously described, it’s especially important for jewelry retailers to set themselves apart around this holiday. This year, Alex and Ani, a jeweler similar to Pandora is setting itself apart with an advertisement that highlights the less glamorous side of motherhood.
In one frame of the Alex and Ani advertisement something apparently falls behind the backdrop, causing commotion. In the next scene, the woman’s apparent child holds a boot that has been removed from her foot. “Do you want me to put it back on,” the woman asks. This and other scenes depict the chaotic nature of parenthood and the difficulties mothers face day to day. But they also depict tender moments between mothers and their children. “Motherhood, it has its challenges,” says another woman in the ad.
Campaigns that show real people in real situations is what consumers respond positively to today. Aerie led by example when they stopped photoshopping their models back in 2014 and Target has followed suit with their 2018 campaign that features photoshop-free models. In a time where consumers post their every move on social media, they expect brands to be transparent and do the same, and that doesn’t include heavily edited images or carefully crafted messages, authenticity is what sells.
All of these marketing campaigns show that motherhood is not a cookie-cutter life. It’s filled with variation and the ways people celebrate Mother’s Day should be equally unique. Those marketing campaigns that develop creative ways to drive home this message are those most likely to succeed.