What Mums Want

How smart brands are talking to Mums

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Marketing to mums has evolved beyond the stereotypical view of an apron-clad, harassed housewife, herding the family around the table for tea. Major corporations, such as Procter & Gamble with its ‘Proud Sponsor of Moms’ Olympics platform, have placed significant spend behind what P&G terms building meaningful relationships with mothers.

Agencies have also reassessed their approach to targeting mums. In March Saatchi&Saatchi, presented Motherhood Is Not A Job at Mumstock, an event organised by Mumsnet. Their research argues that too often brands identify motherhood as a series of chores. Instead, brands need to switch focus to the playful mother and child relationship and consider that being a mum might be about caring, but is also about breaking the rules. This followed earlier 2014 research Truth About Mums, which revealed that only 19% of UK mums are able to relate to their representation in advertising.

As brands seek to address such findings they are beginning to work more closely with highly-active online communities. Boots recently partnered with Netmums to create the Boots Parenting Club, an online channel that provides support for mums whilst learning from them at the same time.

Mums transcend such a wide demographic, which makes common themes of nurturing, support and playfulness so important for communications. New research from Kantar Media, Channel Mum, found that mums under 30 (the so-called Generation V) are cost-conscious and maintain traditional values but also possess an appetite for luxury and technology. With this in mind, we should expect marketing to mums to become even smarter, using technology to find new ways of strengthening the playful bond between mum and child.

Read on for examples…

Persil Asks Mums To ‘Pop, Pour, Rub’

Persil faced the challenge of selling detergent dosing balls to an audience of mums that had grown cynical about product claims in the category.

The solution was to interrupt their shopping behaviour and connect on an emotional level.

Research found that mums are not influenced by the science behind the product, but are more likely to be convinced when seeing the difference it makes with their own eyes.

Persil created the dosing ball challenger pack, which they sent to 4,000 mums.

The pack encouraged mums to take the challenge with their children, reinforcing Persil’s key brand message Dirt is Good and aligning the brand with play rather than a chore.

The campaign resulted in 2,750 written and video reviews from those who had tested the product. The videos were used on the Persil website and across social media channels.

Agency: Lowe Open

video views
increase in UK sales

Pampers Savours Those Pooface Moments

The brand launched its ‘Don’t Fear the Mess’ campaign with an online film capturing an important aspect of the lives of 10 babies – the moment they have a poo. This campaign is built on a playful, more truthful insight rather than the typical emotional or functional approach. The film was the starting point for the Pampers Baby Wipes campaign, which used the #PampersPooFace hashtag to encourage mums to submit their own Pooface pictures on Instagram and Twitter.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi , London

Mccain Shows Real Family Teatimes

McCain’s recent campaign adopted a new approach to depicting family teatime and the role of mums. Cameras were set up in 10 real family homes across the country to create an unscripted, fly-on-the-wall film montage of the British teatime. The idea being to move away from the notion that teatimes are chaotic, stressful events and are instead times when “the really good stuff happens.” Times when parents get together with their children to laugh, tell stories, and generally get on.

Agency: adam&eveDDB, London

Changing Mum’s View Of Butlin’s

Unity’s ‘Just for Tots’ PR campaign targeted mums who currently think that Butlin’s isn’t for them by showing them its new short breaks through the eyes of their children. Centred on an Apprentice-style search for a Butlin’s (High) Chairman, mums and their children had fun together submitting a CV. The winner advised the Butlin’s board and starred in a C-Suite photo-shoot. The breaks sold out and the campaign generated 75 pieces of coverage, equating to 400m opportunities to see.

Agency: Unity, London

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