Mothers’ Day Marketing Is Not Just About the Brand

For brands like Edible Arrangements and Hallmark, Mothers’ Day is a natural fit for social media and email marketing; however, the holiday also provides unlikely brands like Minute Maid orange juice and home security firm ADT opportunities to start meaningful conversations with consumers.

While many consumers begin searching for Mothers’ Day gifts about a month before the actual holiday, most don’t purchase those gifts until the week before. So it’s important for branded messaging to intensify as the holiday approaches, according to Kaitlin Reiss, vice president of ecommerce at Edible Arrangements.

“Consumers are more and more last minute,” Reiss says. “Even though we see people start to search for Mothers’ Day about a month in advance, most people aren’t doing anything until this week of, with the majority not doing anything until Thursday, Friday, Saturday.”

Edible Arrangements

To keep their brand on people’s minds as they deliberate and ultimately purchase Mothers’ Day gifts, Edible Arrangements sends customers who haven’t purchased gifts emails every day leading up to the holiday, even doubling up as the day approaches. The brand has also invested in location-based pre-roll ads for last-minute shoppers.

“Our messaging changes come Friday [before Mothers’ Day],” Reiss says. “We really talk about the fact that we are open and delivering all weekend. We’re trying to bring a local feel to a national brand and we even do pre-roll. At the end of those 15- or 30-second commercials what we’re showing you is where your location is.”


Social media also plays an important part in Mothers’ Day marketing. This year, security firm ADT wants to start a conversation around children as caregivers by launching the Twitter hashtag #MomSayings as an impetus for entering a contest to win a year of ADT’s health monitoring service. The hashtag highlights humorous advice moms give to draw attention to the more serious topic of adult children as caregivers, according to Kayla Lake, social media specialist for ADT. 

“Many are in the position of being faced with becoming mom’s caregiver,” says Lake. “Caregivers struggle through a range of emotions and unknowns, often seeking assistance in the form of tangible, non-disruptive solutions. That’s why we wanted to use this proactive approach to drive conversation and create moments for people to talk about and share versus a reactive listen and learn approach.”

Minute Maid

Minute Maid is also hoping to spark conversation with its emotional #DoingGood videos, in which children write letters describing all the good their mothers have done in their lives to assuage mothers’ doubts about their parenting abilities. While the videos don’t specifically focus on the brand, Minute Maid is hoping to drive engagement rather than sales. “We hope to ignite a social cultural conversation,” says Anne Weaver, director of integrated marketing communications at the Coca-Cola Company.

“Video views are great. We’re thrilled to be at nearly half a million views, but ultimately we’re looking to keep the brand relevant and engaged with this generation of families and establish a more emotional connection with our audience.”


It’s difficult to measure ROI for digital campaigns focused on a specific holiday, so for most brands, getting messages seen is the best indicator of success. For example, for Mothers’ Day, Hallmark has released a series of videos that continue its “Put Your Heart to Paper” campaign, in which people attempt to express their feelings without using the words “I love you” as a direct result of the positive response to the popularity of its Valentines’ campaign that used a similar tactic.

“It does come down to engagement and having views and sharing, just in terms of consumers relating their stories,” says Christopher Cole, creative director at Leo Burnett, the agency behind the campaign. “The engagement was huge for our Valentine’s campaign and a lot more than we expected. Those are the things where you can see the work doing some good. It’s trickier when it comes to measuring sales because so many of the sales are offline. It’s a little hard to measure it into actual ROI.”


For Fisher-Price, authenticity was the key to creating buzz around their “The Mommys” campaign, which the brand created alongside agency 360i. The Mommys allow social media users to give awards like “The Baby Chaser” to the mommies in their lives via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TheMommys. 

“The global campaign aims to break through the Mother’s Day clutter of flowers and cards to praise moms authentically for their everyday challenges and achievements,” says Michele Zimmer director of global brand marketing for Fisher-Price. “The ‘Mommys’ spark authentic conversations between moms, building on their natural social behavior and sense of community online, a place that moms already discuss the trials and triumphs of parenthood, share advice, words of support, and more.”


For holiday marketing, the biggest brand winners are the ones who create genuine conversation even if the brand isn’t the topic, says Lake. “People are used to talking to brands. Consumers are activated through meaningful experiences, so we aim for meaningful interactions that tap into stories and experiences, which help us to connect with people on a human level. Social is a powerful place to be engaging key target demographics.”

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