Skip to main content
Geometric Pattern

Moms to Brands: Please Get Real

May 06, 2021

The moms of SRW have some things to say. This year has been the most challenging one on record for a lot of people. But you’ve gotta admit, moms have had one of the roughest rides.

While being a mom of any-aged kid during a pandemic brings its own unique struggles, the moms in this agency are rolling with the toddler and baby crowd, and while we and our colleagues enjoy the presence of these lovable little hoodlums on our conference calls, it’s not all smiles into the camera.

We have delivered babies that were not allowed to meet their grandparents in person. We have only met our nieces and nephews on zoom. We have been afraid to send our kids to daycare. We have been ecstatic to send our kids to daycare. We have worked late into the night to catch up for lost time during the day. We have been mom-shamed and fear-mongered. We have been celebrated and supported. We have felt fragmented and pulled in a million directions and we’ve come through it all stronger than before, but not without a few scars.

So this Mother’s Day, please do us a solid and cut the platitudes. If you’re considering creating a branded post about breakfast and bed, we just…we need you to not. A generic post that says “thank you moms” with no opportunity for us to enter a giveaway that actually displays said thanks is not the best use of your brand real estate. Instead, please aim for one or more items on this list:

  • Acknowledge our struggle
  • Acknowledge the various stages of motherhood and how they differ
  • Vet your creative with actual moms
  • Find a way to give us time alone and/or for ourselves

Think it can’t be done? Ah, but some folks do get mom marketing so very right. Straight from the moms of SRW, here are three brands who have truly touched our hearts with their sincerity:

  1. Jeni’s Ice Cream

It’s pretty much a given for brands to market to moms on Mother’s Day, because why not, right? But what about those who struggle with the holiday? Women who have suffered a loss of a child, or who are coping with infertility. Women without a maternal figure or those facing a strained relationship with their mother. It’s not always roses and chocolates for many women (and men too), and brands are finally starting to acknowledge that bombarding your inbox with complicated, emotion-filled reminders of this holiday can do more harm than good.

In a promotions tab chock full of Mother’s Day gift reminders, this one from Jeni’s Ice Cream immediately caught my eye. 

Giving women the chance to opt-out of Mother’s Day emails is simply brilliant. It shows compassion, empathy, and thoughtfulness. Moreso, it reveals that these brands are listening to their customers, and taking immediate action.

Luckily, Jeni’s isn’t the only one offering an opt-out experience. Etsy, Aesop, and Parachute have all done the same, even shifting language on their websites from moms to mother figures. This may seem like a small, insignificant tweak, but for so many women, it goes the extra mile.

Key Takeaway: Recognize that Mother’s Day isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Show up for moms in a personal and humble way.

So, from me, and many moms everywhere, thank you to these brands for your kindness. But please, don’t forget — Father’s Day is around the corner, too.

Allana, Strategist

Mom to Noah (14 months, born three days before the stay-at-home order was issued). 

2. Boba: You made me a mother.

This video came out when I was pregnant with my first son, and seven years later I still can’t watch it without crying. I could always tell that moms wrote this and reviewed every sliver of copy, because it’s exactly perfect. As a bonus they also created a “you made me a father” spot that connects just as authentically with dads. 

Even though I have watched the spot a hundred times, I never thought about how it got made, so I recently took the chance to look it up. That’s when I found the root of the brilliance: the entire script was inspired by comments from their community of moms. 

Key takeaway: Let your inspiration come from real moms, and you will engage with sincerity.

But did it work? Oh yes. I own two Boba wraps and frequently gift them to friends. 

Kate, CEO 

Mom to Gus (6), Jojo (2) and Everett (always in our hearts)

3. Kraft: Mother’s Day Away

I wasn’t a mom when Kraft launched this campaign in 2019 so I didn’t take much notice. Now that I am a mom? Boy, do I feel this. A day away. Hallelujah. Amen to that. A moment that takes us back to life before kids whether that be a day to ourselves to do whatever we want, a getaway weekend, a date with our partner, or a dinner with friends.

This is an example of an honest message, but one that may have actually failed moms on the details. Kraft heard both high praise for the campaign and complaints stemming from the “fine print” of the promotion – they capped the gifts at $50k and moms had to actually book their sitter and have a receipt for services rendered prior to applying. The offer was only available for a week after Mother’s Day, which means that a mom would see the ad and immediately submit a receipt for a past babysitting service. Kind of defeats the purpose.

Key Takeaway: Be completely honest in your messaging and don’t overcomplicate the reward for moms. It’s just more work for us that we don’t need.

Leah, Wellness Communications Specialist

Mom to Lennon (7 months)

Missed the boat this Mother’s Day? That’s ok! We don’t actually need brands to celebrate us – we have family and friends for that, and no one is sitting around wondering what their favorite snack food brand thinks about motherhood. But, if you do desire to show up for moms in a meaningful way in the future, the tips above will set you on the right track.