Female Forward Blog - Mothers Day Ad Campaigns

Mother’s Day Ad Campaigns Done Right 

Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is May 8, which is just around the corner. This is a big holiday for CPG brands that target the female demographic each year. 

Unfortunately, many brands do a lazy cut and paste job, with stereotypical commercials and digital ads that disappear into the pink floral background. But some brands strike a chord and have found a way to truly resonate with and win over female consumers’ hearts and minds. 

Making that emotional connection with mothers might include imagery of a mother and her children or a moving quote about motherhood. However, it is all about the delivery, and in my professional opinion, a few brands have been spot on in recent years. 

Let’s take a look at some of the better marketing campaigns for Mothers Day through the years to draw inspiration from for your own advertising. 

Proctor & Gamble – 2016

While P&G’s “Thank You Mom” ad campaigns were for the Olympics, giving thanks to those who make the games happen, the families and moms who support the athletes, these ads are arguably perfectly suited and complimentary for Mother’s Day. 

P&G has been consistently producing stand-out ads for many years, I should know as I was their Brand Director for North American Feminine Care products for 19 years. Good ads are universal, and this touching commercial shows the daily routines, sacrifices, and never-tiring heartfelt support of moms in a quite literal universal way. 

While this is a throwback (2016) and one of my personal favorites, just search “P&G Mother’s Day commercials” on YouTube to find more excellent examples through the years, such as the “Lead With Love” campaign in 2020 (there will be tears, just a warning).

American Greetings – 2015

The American Greetings “World’s Toughest Job” ad is one of my all-time favorite pieces of advertising related to Mother’s Day. I actually use this during trainings! It is amazing how strong of a lasting impression a unique idea and well-executed ad can have on you. This “prankvertising” commercial had incredible fanfare and won the 2015 North American Grand Effie award. 

When you hear the role of motherhood as a typical job description, what do you think? 

Carhartt – 2021

Carhartt does a fantastic job of combining their product’s purpose, work wear, with motherhood, which of course is hard work. Showing the difficulties and struggles is a good way to make that connection with mothers. It is a fine balance, and Carhartt manages to pull it off with the right amount of empathy. 

Similac – 2015

If you’re going to go the humor route, which can be done and while still making a real connection with a mothers experience, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the Similar social media sensation, “The Mother’Hood” that puts new moms and all of the judgment they face in the spotlight.  

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – 2017

Another good one for the humor category, which funny often goes viral on social media, as was the case with the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese “Swear Like a Mother” ad. It’s lighthearted but has the right touch of truth to connect with their mom customers and probably their kids as well. 

Hallmark – 2020 

Hallmark really hit the mark on this ad that any mother can relate to, and it just happens to feature a child with Down syndrome, which makes it even more meaningful and inclusive. If you want to connect with mothers, a great way is to portray their unconditional love.

The young girl reads her card to her mom, thanking her for walking with her through all of life’s milestones, she says “thank you for holding me when it hurt, and sharing your sense of wonder and humor, for knowing when to stay close and when to let me go. You’ve always seen my beauty, my hard work and never underestimate what I can do. I am who I am because of you.” This sentimental and powerful commercial is an outstanding marketing campaign with a lasting impact. 

Fun fact: The girl in the video was featured in the show “Born This Way” and the people the girl serves coffee to in the commercial are her real parents.

Marketing From the Heart for Mother’s Day

Whether you use humor in a tasteful and meaningful way or if you go straight for the tear-jerker with your Mother’s Day marketing campaigns, remember to focus on the connection and not the commercial side of the ad. When we create an advertisement that will truly resonate with women and have meaning, we aren’t even talking about the product or sales as that will cloud your vision and limit your message and impact. 

My advice is to market with meaning to win mothers’ hearts. Happy Mother’s Day!