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Brief Published: 7 May 2020

Mother’s Day 2020 (US): Connecting During Crisis

Feeling the effects of social distancing more keenly than ever, Americans are treating Mother’s Day (May 10 in the US) with increased emphasis, with 78% placing newfound importance on the holiday due to the pandemic. Despite a looming recession, average spending is predicted to be $205 per person, an $8 increase from 2019 (NRF, 2020).

Increase in spending is partially due to those who plan to splurge on home tech gifts for their parents, evidenced by a 24% increase in electronic gifting from 2019, driven by 66% of US consumers intending to celebrate virtually (NRF, 2020).

  • Facebook Portal: Showcasing the multifaceted challenges of balancing motherhood with career and home duties during the pandemic, a new television and digital campaign from Portal – a video-calling platform and smart display range from Facebook – shows mothers tackling roles of provider, teacher and event planner during lockdown. Portal is partnering with mothers who are medical influencers including @dr.audreyxsue and @drkiarraking who will share their motherhood stories on Instagram as well as prominent ‘mom Facebook Groups’ including The Mommy Grind and Brooklyn Moms to share diverse stories of strength.
  • Douglas Fragrance & Cosmetics: In Germany (also celebrates Mother’s Day on May 10), German creative agency Jung von Matt’s ad campaign for perfume and cosmetics retailer Douglas highlights key worker mothers. TV spot Für Unsere Heldinnen (For Our Heroines) features women in care, medicine, research, public transport and logistics-based professions, who are working while also caring for their children. The YouTube video has garnered over 2 million views since May 3. 

  • KFC Fast Food: US fast-food chain KFC is fostering family connections over Facebook Messenger. The KFC Facebook homepage connects users to a Colonel Sanders chatbot, allowing them to send invitations to a virtual Mother’s Day dinner, personalised with notes and family pictures. The in-app calls can be decorated with branded digital stickers and filters.
  • Shapermint Bodywear: Playing on the importance of keeping a safe distance, California’s Shapermint, a shapewear brand positioned as body positive, wants to “celebrate moms while protecting them” with Instagram and Facebook campaign #MakeTheCall. Participants are encouraged to share calls to their mothers thanking them for acts of care that have “shaped” their children rather than meeting in person, even as many states mull reopening. Influencers will post personal calls to their mothers counting down to Mother’s Day to show how emotionally powerful a video call can be.