Massively missing the Mother's Day mark

Kiranpreet Kaur
By Kiranpreet Kaur | 6 May 2022
Kiranpreet Kaur

Kiranpreet Kaur – Head of Client & Strategic Services – Archibald Williams

Every year, just as that second Sunday of May comes around, we start to see massive “pink washing” across retail stores around the world. It seems as if since the beginning of Mother’s Days, we’ve always talked about gifting precious mum the “soft” items – flowers, garden supplies, homewares…you get the point.

But I can’t help but think, in today’s day and age, are we massively missing the mark? How are we still playing to the archaic roles of women as we advertise and communicate, and that too, on Mother’s Day?

This past week, I went to Bunnings between 1 to 4 times a day (I’m in the thick of a reno). Now, I’m not saying I’m the norm (thanks to my mother, who literally had a reciprocating saw in her hands a bit too much this past week as well), but I’m also not an extreme anomaly.

In fact, women are picking up the tools more than ever before. If you look at the top lists of influencers on social media in the DIY category, at least half will be women, with significant following and engagement.

They don’t need “pink-washing” or flower-printed garden gloves. In fact, I’m sure they’d appreciate a great hammer drill or finishing nail gun, to be honest. I’m a mum, and I know I definitely would (well, just the nail gun…or maybe a mitre saw).

Female empowerment and equality remains a big issue for our society and others. So, this Mother’s Day, the question brands should be asking is how are we helping to empower women in addition to celebrating them?

Because, if we want to empower them, let’s stop showing mums in only pink with potted flower plants and silk pajamas (even though, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a great pair of silk pajamas, right?). My point being, the hardworking messages and hands-on tools and activities should not be reserved for just Father’s Day.

While some brands have clued into this insight and made the shift, brands like Hallmark and Bunnings (as much as I love them, truly) have great potential to adjust their strategies when it comes to their approach to Mother’s Day. Not only is it the more effective thing to do, it would likely increase your reach and sales around Mother’s Day, I’m sure.

In the spirit of shifting the strategy, I’d love to see advertising and our personal celebrations this Mother’s Day (and moving forward) start bridging this gap for the broader and more diverse audience more effectively.

And so, Happy Mother’s Day to all the legends navigating motherhood – you deserve the world, even if that starts with just some flowers or a lawn mower this Sunday.

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