Wednesday, 20 August 2014

If your mum were a professional, what would her role look like?

It's easy to take for granted the most important people in our lives, forgetting what they mean to each of us. That is, until we are reminded and given the opportunity to be grateful.

That's the insightful brilliance of the World's Toughest Job campaign by the agency Mullen for American Greetings. In the build up to mother’s day, the greeting card company tapped a universal consumer insight to develop an emotionally resonating ad to drive behaviour. What they ultimately created was a viral sensation gaining over 21.4 million views, for a rather mundane product, the humble mother day card.

So what consumer insight drove the ad and which consumer effects were targeted?

Consumer insights help to explain the why of a consumer’s action and can result in a new way of looking at an old problem. It's the revelation when you uncover a seemly obvious truth, which marketing can use to create ideas that resonate with the audience. In the World's Toughest Job, the consumer insight centres on the role of mothers in all of our lives. Mothers are the unsung heroes of the world, giving everything and expecting nothing in return. American Greetings is here to help you show your mum how grateful you are.

The objective of the online ad touches upon some of the aspects of integrated perception, having multiple effects on the audience. Firstly, it plays to emotions, driving an affective appeal by evoking the love we have for all our mothers, particularly in the moment when the job of Director of Operations is finally revealed as the work of mums.

Secondly, it leverages perception, using fly on the wall art direction and a reality driven narrative to draw the audience into the unfolding narrative, rewarding engagement with the punch line.

Finally, it drives behaviour, encouraging customers at the end of the ad to make a card for their mums, showing they are grateful.

This delightful ad is a clear standout for American Greeting. It's a new take on celebrating a mother’s thankless role, and a call to action for every child at heart to show their love.

Duncan Bell
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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