In the run-up to Mother’s Day, content creators deliver a medley of tearjerkers and laugh-out-loud videos celebrating mom. From April 1 until today, brands have hooked over 150M views across video platforms on Mother’s Day-related content.
In 2019, it’s all about the laughs. Here’s a rundown of how brands are recognizing mom’s special day.
KFC’s Steamy Video Is Perfect for (Mother) Hen Parties
Kentucky Fried Chicken is drawing millions of viewers with its “Chickendale” video campaign. Users can custom-tailor a video message for mom starring… male strippers.
The ensuing video features a buff Colonel Sanders (think: grandpa on steroids. Literally.) greeting your mama by name before ripping off his shirt and gyrating alongside fellow Chickendales. The climax? A sentimental message for mom emblazoned on their underpants. Oh my.
Yes, it’s weird—absurd even. But viewers are finger-licking it up. The Facebook ad for the campaign, released about two weeks ago, has 6.7Mviews and 225K engagements (as of May 6, 2019).
Several media publishers have also harvested the video for their channels, republishing it as newsworthy content. This multi-platform crossover creates a second wind of engagement and views, which benefits brands and publishers alike.
KFC has a track record for outrageous video fare. The brand’s 2017 Mother’s Day ad featured another shirtless man — this one reading a steamy novella about the Colonel’s exploits, which scored around 500K views across platforms.
Takeaway: Sex sells! But the real strategy here is to use sensational, customizable content to engineer a brand lift, so viewers then feel compelled to personalize and share the video across networks. Plus, media publishers can multi-post and piggyback on an ad’s buzz by republishing it on their own channels.
Tech Companies Celebrate the Power of Moms
Celebrities like Jonah Hill, Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg, and Dwayne Johnson are fun to watch. But a video featuring their mothers complaining about them? That’s another level of enjoyment. Facebook produced a video starring celebrity moms who entice (or perhaps shame) you into calling your mom this Mother’s Day.
Created to advertise Portal for Facebook (a video-chatting device), the primary ad has gotten 1.7M views on YouTube since it was uploaded less than a month ago. And it’s earning hundreds of thousands more in views from multi-posts in official celebrity video feeds, like those of Serena Williams and Snoop Dogg.
In a similar move, Google released a Mother’s Day montage filled with kids yelling “Hey Mom” — a play on the “Hey Google” hotword. One dirt-covered kid traipses around the house, another attempts to dangerously extract her loose tooth, while yet another gets stuck in the doggy door (you know, normal kid stuff). And an exhausted, busy Mom must save the day (also normal).
The video, which advertises Google’s Home hub, scored around 70K views across platforms in its first day (V1) and had a top engagement rating of 3.5x over the first 24 hours (ER1). Note: This ad is performing best on Instagram, a reminder to brands that cross-posting is a must-do.
Takeaway: Many successful brands are drawing on millennial-based experiences and celebrity references to inspire views (after all, millennials have the buying power for big-ticket items).
Brands Embrace the Crazy Reality of Motherhood
Raw narratives that showcase the reality of motherhood have been successfully harnessed by various brands in past Mother’s Day campaigns.
Kraft’s 2017 “Swear Like A Mother” campaign embraced foul language as a surefire survival mechanism (2.9M views on YouTube). And in 2014, Cardstore by American Greetings acknowledged just how relentless a mom’s job is through a comedic prism: the World’s Toughest Job interview. The video has become a classic, raking in almost 28M views across platforms and publishers.
Mom’s Best Cereal got real in 2016 with a compilation of user-generated home movies that reveal the not-so-glamorous reality of motherhood. The result? It’s been dubbed the mother of all mother’s day videos. The ad has earned 70M views and 2.3M engagements on Facebook to date, making it one of the highest-performing Mother’s Day videos of all time.
Takeaway: Viewers want authenticity, an unapologetic look at a mother’s struggles. Brands should create content that openly embraces the tragicomedy of motherhood. To this end, there’s still time this year. The web is brimming with user-generated content to draw on.
And What About the Mother’s Day Flowers?
Online-flower delivery service Telaflora stands out with its “Love Like a Mother” campaign. The video ad features adults parenting… other adults. Have you ever seen a grown man tuck in an office colleague for nap time? It’s LOL-worthy, for sure. The ad received a total of 1.9M views on YouTube since it was published last week.
Teleflora has also published memorable Mother’s Day videos over the past several years. Last year, Teleflora’s “Love Makes a Mom” campaign profiled a handful of loving families: from a daughter with two moms to a mother of a special-needs child, drawing millions of views.
The floral company’s most popular ad, which ran in 2015, features a tearful mom as she gets a surprise visit from her adult son. The video received 37M views and 1.3M engagements on Facebook and 12.1M views and 8.8K engagements on YouTube.
Takeaway: Teleflora’s video campaigns change each year, but one theme anchors them all: motherly love is interchangeable with the brand’s identity. Brands would benefit from creating annual video content that exhibits a thematic signature and viewers come to anticipate. (I’m still waiting on a brand to think longitudinally and push out a mother-son ad series that grows each year with the child. Anyone?)
Mother’s Day Videos Endure All Year Round
The majority of views for Mother’s Day content on YouTube and Facebook are generated between April and May. But these feel-good videos about Mother’s Day resonate beyond just those two months.
Out of the nearly 1.7 billion views this topic got last year, around 759 million occurred in the other 10 months (June-March). That’s a huge opportunity for brands to keep the conversation going each quarter.
Because, year-round, viewers want their hearts to swell. They crave that singular video that hits so hard, there’s only one cure: to call mom and say “I love you.”