Why Sentimental Marketing Campaigns in the USA Don’t Work?

Why Sentimental Marketing Campaigns in the USA Don’t Work?

Did you know that US consumers prefer images of strong women in Mother’s Day campaigns? We’ve analyzed the recent and last year’s campaign from the popular US florist shop Telefora. One was a great success, while the other failed terribly. To explain why, we dug into marketing research on what Mother’s Day means to Americans from a cultural perceptive.

Women March Also on the Second Sunday in May

Remember @womensmarch on President Trump’s inauguration day? USA is one of the biggest advocates of female activism and empowerment. The country also has the highest rate of single mothers worldwide. Don’t forget the famous “We Can Do it!” campaign during wartime to boost workers moral. During history women in America have become associated as fighters and survivors. In the spirit of the start of Mother’s Day, Americans like to celebrate the holiday as a manifest of not only a mother’s love, but also her strength.

Why Teleflora Got it Right Last Year

In 2016 the online florist shop Teleflora managed to issue one of the most recognizable Mother’s Day campaigns. The add features voice actor Mike Pollock reading the famous speech “What It Takes to Be Number One” from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. We see moms working various jobs, walking kids to school, serving in the military and even giving birth. The add finishes with the sentence: “Motherhood isn’t always hearts and roses. Mother’s Day can be.”

The marketing team managed to merge America’s greatest symbols with motherhood in just 2 minutes. Teleflora’s head of marketing David Dancer said that with all the sweat and tears mothers go through they deserve to be called heroes. The company’s approach proved to be right as the video has had more than 6.8 million views.

Sorry, You’re Missing 26.5 Million Views?

Ok, we’re being mean. But, according to David Dancer Teleflora expected to gain 30 million views via social media channels for their latest Mother’s Day campaign “Just Like Her”. Currently, the video has a bit over than 4.5 thousand views on YouTube. What are your first thoughts when watching it?

You are not your mother. You are just like her.

The “play” with the common saying doesn’t work. “You’re just like your mother.” vs. the above add slogan sound too similar. We know Mother’s Day is about celebrating love in the family, but mother-daughter relationships are one of the most complex of their kind. Most women get at least a tiny bit irritated when they are being compared to their mothers. In contrast to last year’s add it’s, well simply put – boring.

It All Started Off As a Fight

Reasons why Americans favor strong female portrayals are rooted in the nation’s history. The first initiative for an officially recognized Mother’s Day came from Julia Ward Howe. After the American Civil War she issued a Mother’s Day Proclamation as a homage to mothers and the peace they bring. Ward’s efforts were continued by mother Anna R. and daughter Anna M. Jarvis. The later pushed legislators so hard that in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into national observance, declared on the second Sunday in May.

Jarvis was greatly disturbed by the swung of commercialism which started to grow around Mother’s Day. She protested against flower sales on the holiday and even got herself arrested. She died in poverty and childless not knowing that The Florist’s Exchange paid for her care.

Teleflora forgot about the origins of Mother’s Day and served its customers an image that has no proper cultural context. The add itself lacks clarity in the message leaving viewers confused about its purpose. Good marketing can change the way people think. But when you’re choosing an uncommon path, you should make sure it’s original.

Want to increase sales of products and services during special holidays? Got a date and market in mind? Tell us about it and we’ll devise the best digital marketing strategy for your website.

Featured image: Pixabay.com


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Polona Golob

Polona Golob

Enjoys a good crossword puzzle and matching keywords is her favorite.

Entries by Polona Golob