On The Spot.

13.03.2017

Our Account Director Frankie talks about how motherhood has helped her gain perspective on where brands can and should be marketing to mums.

12 months on and now the proud owner of a small human who goes by the name of Charlie, Account Director Frankie is straight back into the swing of agency life.  

We shared our top marketing tips for brands looking to communicate with mums last month – but now that we’ve got a mum back in our business, we’d be remiss if we didn’t sit down and get the inside scoop straight from the source. 

At Mercieca, you’ve worked alongside brands like Beko and Jaffa to build PR campaigns that connect them in the right ways with mums. Being a new mum, why do you think getting it right is so vital to those looking to market to mums?

I think brands often overthink how they speak to mums. We’re often all put into one ‘mum bracket’ and it can become quite annoying having companies tell you how to parent. We don’t innately change as people when we become mums (or dads!). It’s simply our priorities that shift, so things like tone of voice shouldn’t change. As a new mum it takes a while to learn that all you can do is your best. Once you’ve got yourself into that head space, you want brands to be talking to you, not at you.

Brands that add humour to the trials and tribulations we face every day are the winners in my eyes!

Do you feel there are good examples of real mums in advertising today?

Brands that add humour to the trials and tribulations we face every day are the winners in my eyes! That being said, it’s equally important to empathise with the situations that we are likely to feel nervous or worry about, just through lack of experience, knowledge or (most often) sleep!

How has being a mum changed your perspective on building campaigns that target mums, dads and parents in general? 

It’s about keeping it real. Putting yourself in the shoes of a mum whether that’s a working mum or stay at home parent. And not forgetting that there are different sizes of families, set ups and lifestyles. There isn’t a ‘typical’ family anymore, and it’s important that brands recognise this. Now that I’m a mum I think if anything, it makes me more aware of the number of bad examples of campaigns that are out there today.


What changes do you see taking place in the way brands are connecting with mums today?

There’s been a real shift between the ‘model family’ and actually talking about the reality of what it’s like to be a mum.

A new wave of influencers are moving away from showing off their immaculate homes and beautifully clothed babies to everything and anything from pregnancy cankles to nappy explosions. Making those daily dramas less of a taboo is really important. Some mums do have that Instagram lifestyle in real life and fair play to them, but most of us are secretly comforted by seeing that not everyone is living a perfect life. Hopefully the good does outweigh the bad, so I think it’s important to recognise the wins as much as the challenges.

How is Mercieca responding to those changes?

As an agency, we’ve always got under the skin of this audience and spend a lot of time building campaigns off the back of real insights from real people. Having mums in the business doesn’t necessarily make us experts. But it does ensure we’re basing ideas on real life. We’ve worked with a number of family brands for a long time now, so we know when to use more traditional media routes versus parenting forums and social media. The most important thing for us with any campaign is that there isn’t a ‘one size suits all’ approach. It’s being considerate of the message you’re trying to deliver.

How do you think brands can raise the bar in the way they communicate with mums?

Without sounding repetitive, just by being real. Talking to mums, not at them… and not forgetting dads too! There are lots of single dads out there doing a great job of raising their families, so it’s also ensuring that brands consider modern family life and the reality of today’s world. We’d all love the idea of sending our children off to play in open fields, picnicking and bike riding, but that’s not necessarily realistic. Just ask a mum. Spend time investing in focus groups and opinion pieces. Ideas based on insights could be the difference between a campaign that cuts through the noise versus one that gets lost in a busy marketing world. 

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