Mother's Day Marketing Got Weird in 2017
Mother's Day was this past Sunday, and a number of marketers jumped into the mix. Let's look at three of them: Skittles, Kraft and KFC.
Last Friday, I took Skittles to task during my weekly "What Were They Thinking?" episode.
The 30-second ad, known as "Umbilical" — that should tell you all you need to know right there — includes the tagline "Cut the rainbow. Taste the rainbow." And yeah, I was thoroughly grossed out ... and our audience was, too, as they took to the comments. Bottom line: The majority of commenters agreed with me that the ad was gross, inappropriate for Mother's Day, and a number of folks said they'd never be able to eat Skittles again.
I can't say that I blame them. Watch the full video above, and if you're curious about the comments (or want to leave your own!) head over to its main page here!
Moving on from GrossTown, we have a spot from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which the CPG marketer turned into short (27 second) and long (just over 1.5 minutes) versions:
It's cute, with a mom and "swearing expert" who shows the difference between creative swearing vs. bleeped out, harsher versions of what she really wants to say.
And while I'm not a mom, I do remember how my mom did her best to keep her swearing to a minimum around me ... she even kept a swear jar for the F-bomb, with the promise of dinner at Denny's when it filled.
While I was a good kid, let's put it this way ... there were days when she pre-paid the jar.
Cute anecdote aside, Kraft tapped into a reality parents face, and who doesn't smile at the little macaroni piece that covers the mom's mouth as she uses salty language (accompanied with a bleep, mind you).
At the finish of the ad is the call to action to go to SwearLikeaMother.com where there was an offer of "fail-canceling ear plugs" (no longer available) and free downloadable content so you could make your own Mother's Day card. Nice work Kraft ... it's cute, it's funny and it's relevant.
And of course, it wouldn't be marketing without a stunt from KFC, right?
Yes that's right, the folks at KFC and Wieden + Kennedy Portland came up with a 96-page romance novella e-book.
According to the fried chicken chain, Mother's Day is its best-selling day of the year, so it decided to give moms a little extra. Reports on the quality of the novella's steamy romance (oh yes, they didn't flake on that) range from cringe-worthy to "actually decent," but this is KFC, so I simply nod and say "of course."
If you're looking for more Mother's Day advertising to scratch an itch — and yes, more of these are less weird, and more traditional — then check out this article from Ad Age.