According to a recent article out of England, moms are no longer just worried about the marketing aimed at their kids – they’re also worried about the commercials and ads being aimed at them.
Although moms make the majority of purchasing decisions for their homes, about everything to cars to house cleaning products to clothes, a study of over 1000 mothers proved that advertisers are missing the mark. Not only did half of the women surveyed disagree that advertisers were targeting them well, over 80% of moms also said that marketers clearly don’t understand moms’ interests, values, or motivations.
Although women have made a variety of great strides in the last several decades, it seems advertisements haven’t been keeping up. Many mothers believe that advertisers are portraying women solely as housewives interested only in babies, products for cooking and cleaning, and their looks. Advertisers also don’t seem to realize that moms vary across important spectrums – including job status, ages of their kids, backgrounds, and interests. Rather, marketers see “mom” as a single defining factor and pigeonhole the group based on stereotypes about what that means. Obviously, in the advertising world, ideas about motherhood lag far behind society.
The moms in the survey also expressed annoyance with the recent increase in “celebrity mom” advertisements, such as ads featuring Nicole Kidman or Victoria Beckham. Although moms may like the stars featured in ads, few aspire to imitate celebrity parents, the result of which is ineffective advertising.
So why, when moms make up such an important audience, are advertisers so off base? The experts think it has to do with the advertising companies themselves – most of which employ many more men than women. Even when the products are ones that will appeal to moms, these companies often don’t understand why women make the purchases they do. For that reason, most moms preferred brands that weren’t stereotypically targeting mothers.
With the holiday season upcoming, companies will likely be struggling to reach moms through a variety of new advertisements, and only time will tell whether they continue to miss the mark.