Moms… they are uniquely ours and we are uniquely theirs. And the day to celebrate them and all that they do for us, is just around the corner. Some may tout Mother’s Day as a “hallmark holiday” but the gesture to give them a day to be appreciated will leave most of us reminiscing on our favorite mom memories. With the fondness that grows from such memories, advertisers know that the holiday is prime time to put to use emotional strategies that will pull on consumers’ heartstrings.
Last year American Greeting’s produced a Mother’s Day video called “World’s Toughest Job”. The ad, created out of staged video interviews, caught candidates’ reactions as the interviewer described the job, saying it consisted of standing on your feet 135 hours a week, waiting to eat until the associate had finished eating, and of course not being able to take any vacation.
The work the interviewer was actually describing was the work of a mom. The ad was suspenseful, surprising, but most of all heartwarming. On YouTube, the video has been viewed 23,415,263 times (as of Monday), and 13.8 million of those views were within the first 5 days of the video’s launch.
The ad was a viral phenomenon. (See this post by Mullen, the ad’s creative agency, to learn more about its viral effects.) But however much I enjoyed this ad, and I do like it very much, there is one issue I have with it. Does it transcend buying behavior? With the ending copy saying, “You might want to make her a card.” Does it reflect the American Greeting’s brand?
This year’s popular Mother’s Day commercial is produced by Pandora Jewelry, and although it has not become as much of a viral sensation as “The World’s Toughest Job”, we can argue that “The Unique Connection” ad does a better job of representing the Pandora Jewelry brand and message. Here is why.
It makes you feel something
Just like in the American Greeting’s ad, “The Unique Connection” captures real reactions. You cannot help but feel suspense and anxiety as the mothers worryingly watch their blindfolded child pick through the line of women. When the children pick the right mom, a sense of relief and happiness comes over the mother – as well as you the viewer. Mullen says, “the viewer is not just watching someone have an emotion; they are feeling this themselves.” It is these emotions that draw you into the moment and the meaning of the Pandora brand.
It showcases Pandora Jewelry – without you noticing
It was not until I had watched the commercial a few times and visited the Pandora website that I realized the moms were actually wearing Pandora Jewelry. I like that the commercial has been strategically shot to include the product, but not overwhelm the moment and message. It coincides very well with the purpose of the jewelry and the idea of the brand, which according to its website is to create jewelry that inspires women to express their individuality and story through their own special moments.
It plays off the idea of uniqueness, individualization, and customization
The success of both Pandora’s commercial and their product can be attributed to how the company actively embraces ideals found in postmodernity. As we collectively transcend from the modern to the postmodern era, “Marketing in a postmodern world” claims how the “self”, not the product, is the ultimate selling point.
Rather than showcasing a product mechanics, marketers are striving to persuade their audiences that their product is an extension of oneself. The pitching point being that buying/wearing/using this product becomes a reflection of one’s own personal brand.
As a result, individualization and customization have become reining themes in marketing, and ones that Pandora has zeroed in on. Pandora’s signature charm bracelet is marketed as a visual story of your life, the charms are selected based on your likeness, and they can be interchanged and rearranged to reflect your ever-changing experiences.
While the commercial did not promote the bracelet or other jewelry collections specifically, it still capitalized on the idea of individualization – that other than the scents, textures, and clothing that differentiate you from another, your jewelry choice can too.
Do you think the “The Unique Connection” is a great example of an on-brand ad? Which do you think had a more effective emotional strategy?
-Caroline Robinson & Savannah Valade