By Julia Ri
Mother’s Day originated from humble beginnings. Founded by Anna Jarvis, the day was established so children could give their well-deserving mums a simple, hand-written, thank-you letter. Nowadays, a simple letter just won’t cut it. Mother’s Day has become much more commercialised with the holiday predicting a whopping $2 billion dollar spend in 2017.
Interestingly, if we used Mother’s Day vs Father’s Day spending as an indication of just how much we love our parents, it would state that Australians love their mums a lot more than their dads – specifically up to 46% more. But this could be largely due to the commercialisation of Mother’s Day.
Here are some of the biggest PR stunts that were pulled in the name of Mother’s Day in an attempt to capitalise on this conundrum:
- Each time a baby cried in JetBlue passengers were given a discount
The US airline JetBlue rewarded passengers with a 25% discount whenever a baby cried on a flight from JFK to Long Beach. That means if four babies cried all passengers would essentially be flying for free on their next JetBlue flight. It was marketed for Mother’s Day – to ease the strain on travelling mums.
- The Queen took a Royal Family Selfie for Mother’s Day
A series of pictures were ‘leaked’ of the Queen taking a selfie on an iPhone adorned with Corgis. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also pose for the Royal Family selfie. However, the photos were fake! They were commissioned by gift retailer NotOnTheHighStreet.com as a PR stunt to promote the gift-giving website for Mother’s Day.
- Another Royal Family Stunt
Creative agency Mr President, shot an in-store video called ‘Treat her like a Queen” for The Body Shop. Using lookalike actors, the video answered questions such as ‘How does HM the Queen actually spend Mother’s Day?’ The stunt garnered national press coverage and fostered over 2 million views on Facebook becoming the Body Shop UK’s most successful piece of film content ever.
- Social Media + Praising Mums = Viral
In 2013, Google released a commercial made by the creative agency Whirled, praising mum for all they do. Google was able to highlight the range of different products in the short video while driving home the message of just HOW mothers are able to connect with their children. By playing on something that we can all relate to, Google was able to create a bond with the audience.
- SOS Children’s Villages Sweden: Guilt Trip Sunday
SOS Children’s Villages Sweden is a charity dedicated to helping worldwide children in need. This Mother’s Day campaign pulled on everyone’s heartstrings by using eight celebrity mums and their kids. They staged pictures of the celebrity’s kids in various places they could have been born in – with no mother and no chance. Talk about a #GuiltTripSunday.
While the founder of Father’s Day, Sonora Dodd, fought tooth and nail for the commercialisation of the holiday, it’s still Mother’s Day that gains the most traction each year. The holiday has become a huge deal with more interesting PR stunts and campaigns being undertaken to take advantage of this fact. These stunts maintain the importance of Mother’s Day so don’t forget to appreciate the maternal figure in your life on this Sunday!