The Mother Of All Marketing Opportunities, Literally

Before this coming Sunday is over, upwards of $20.7 billion will flow from devoted children and appreciative husbands into the coffers of grateful florists, stationary stores, restaurateurs and gaudy knickknack purveyors in this country, according to a survey conducted by BIGInsight for the National Retail Federation (NRF). The average spend of $168.94 for mom will be up 11% over last year and engage nearly 90% of population, many of them apparently frustrated by one mom in particular -- Mother Nature’s icy demeanor this year.

“After a long winter that kept many from splurging on any new spring merchandise, retailers are looking forward to opening their doors and surprising shoppers with promotions that are perfect for any gardener, host, fashionista or tech-savvy mom,” says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.



Several other analyst’s outlooks are not quite as cheery, as our Sarah Mahoney reported a couple of weeks ago, and others are rosier in some ways. “Ninety-two percent of Americans plan to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, according to a survey conducted by Brand Keys,” Today contributor Martha C. White informs us.

“This is your mom you’re talking about. There’s a very big emotional connection,” Brandkeys Founder and President Robert Passikoff tells White, who observes that the connection is “increasingly extending.”

“Especially in recent years, holidays have really become more sentimental than just purely discretionary celebrations,” says the NRF’s Kathy Grannis in support of the thesis. “I think, for some families, celebrating all the women in their life makes sense.”

It seems to make sense for marketers of all stripes, too- – and not just in the U.S. While the celebration of Mother's Day began in U.S. in the early 20th century; it “is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March or May,” according to Wikipedia, which continues:

“It is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration” -- none of which, in all probability, involved the purchase of sentiments such as, “People like you make the world a really happy place...For kids like me!”

Indeed, Hallmark estimates that 141 million cards will be exchanged this year and itself is offering 1,350 choices ranging from 99 cents to $9.99.

On the international front, 7-Elevens in Japan –- what, you’re surprised? -- “has children draw their moms in ‘Mother's Portraits’ that are displayed for all to see, Brian Ashcroft reports on, “resulting in some amusing pictures of dear old mom.”

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Benjamin Li puts together a slide show of eight brands that have “tied more (or less) traditional marketing to the holiday this year,” including “hipster club Dragon-i in Hong Kong, which is organizing the ‘Baby Loves Mommy’ charity disco … where groovy kids and their cool parents can enjoy activities and games …”

Then there’s HTC’s new pink version of it Butterfly mobile device, which fits in snugly with the NRF’s prediction that shoppers will be spending $2.3 billion on electronics for mom this year, up from $1.6 billion last year. Indeed, “Mama Wants Mobile Technology,” one headline informs us, although the source –- Mobile Technology Watch -– may be a tad biased.

If you’re still scratching your head over where to bring mom to dine on this special occasion, how about Hooters?

“The chain famous for its waitresses in sexy uniforms has long struggled to attract female customers -- particularly mothers” Bruce Horovitz writes in USA Today. “But this Mother's Day, it hopes to lure others nationwide by offering free entrees -- worth up to $10 -- for mothers who bring a kid along and buy any drink.”

We should point out that, from both a personal and a marketing perspective, this may not be a good idea. In fact, restaurant consultant Linda Lipsky calls the idea “pathetic,” telling Horovitz, “it's like offering Weight Watchers customers a free meal with dessert at The Cheesecake Factory.”

Beyond all gimcracks, gewgaws and schlock, we are, of course, talking about a bond that is truly difficult to express in words, as Steve Harvey recently demonstrated on his show. We wish all the mom’s out there a day fill with love and serenity.

Next story loading loading..