Mother’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated holidays, but even still, so much of what moms accomplish remains unrecognized. The countless amount of roles and obligations that they bear is commonly described as a thankless job, but yet the most challenging and profound duty anyone can serve. Undoubtedly, mothers are an integral aspect of humanity — where love begins nurturing and life is given meaning.
This year, May 9th is the day that we once again show thanks. Timeless stress and unanswered tears will be met with endearment and gratitude. And to do this, a proper Mother’s Day gift requires heartfelt reflection and thoughtful planning.
Complex emotions are often difficult to express at times, so here are five Mother’s Day commercials meant to inspire and shed light on this precious relationship.
JetBlue is an airline company that is commonly used by families. Thus, they are painstakingly familiar with the effects that an on-board crying baby can have. While in-flight tantrums can always bother surrounding passengers, JetBlue recognizes that it is the parents of these infants who suffer the most from it.
As the commercial reveals, the stress of ensuring that a baby is safely prepared for extensive travel is far greater than just hearing its cries. Making matters worse, this overwhelming sense of anxiety that mom’s especially endure is often met with “dirty stares” and unsupportive judgement.
This is where JetBlue specifically sought to intervene. On a special flight that was filmed for this advertisement, they offered 25% off for every time a baby cried. Understandably, this made every passenger excited to hear a crying for once, relieving parents of their stress and anxiety.
JetBlue effectively changed an unwelcoming environment into one of solidarity. And while this promotion was only conducted for a single flight, this commercial highlights a painfully relatable experience that mothers face. It can be said that the airplane is a microcosm of society, and that JetBlue is encouraging people everywhere to continuously support mothers in their times of need.
Well, everyone expresses love and appreciation differently, and this KFC’s Mother’s Day approach was certainly unorthodox. Their “Chickendales” commercial might have lacked sincerity, but it made up for it with humor and entertainment.
Not every relationship is best expressed with tear-jerking displays of poetic affection. Some are just better explored with personality and an outlandish sense of creativity. So for the moms who aren’t into anything dramatic or “gushy”, perhaps Mother’s Day will be best celebrated with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Or better yet, in the company of muscular and shirtless dancing men.
This KFC commercial features their version of the Chippendales — half-naked and loaded with chicken. Their dancing is accompanied with wholesome messages such as “you’re the best mom in the world”, “I love you mom”, “you’re a real special lady”, and “how does it feel to be the coolest mom in the world”.
And that’s it… that was KFC’s official Mother’s Day commercial in all its glory. But it’s deliberate use of comedic and informal elements created something that’s not only borderline iconic, but also a reminder that some relationships are better expressed and strengthened by laughter.
In summary: you could have all the juicy Kentucky Fried Chicken in the world, but you will never find anything as tender as a mother’s love for her family.
#3: “The Queen” – The Body Shop
While most Mother’s Day advertisements have to choose between storytelling or comedy as their primary marketing tactic, this UK cosmetic company has seemed to have struck a seamless balance.
“The Queen” is filmed in an amateur home-video style, featuring depictions of the royal family scurrying around frantically for Mother’s Day gifts. After dogs leave their flower garden in ruin, their last resort gift from The Body Shop saves the day. The commercial then ends with the appropriate caption: “treat your mum like a queen”. And what’s particularly impressive about this advertisement was its ability to effectively tell a story, and also produce quality entertainment.
Its story was surprisingly simple, yet subtly meaningful. It shows that even the wealthiest of families will struggle with making Mother’s Day perfect, and that things won’t always go as planned. But no matter what a family’s current situation is, there will always be a way to treat your mom like royalty.
The home-video style of editing further emphasizes the stories personable nature, conveying that the themes of Mother’s Day transcends to all walks of life. Its portrayal of the royal family acting informally and encountering lighthearted misfortune is purely comedic, and delightfully relatable.
This commercial’s Mother’s Day message shows just how universal this holiday is to families everywhere. No matter the circumstances, each family shares underlying experiences and an innate appreciation for moms.
#2: “One Tough Mother” – Teleflora
Many mothers would describe the role that they serve as a full-time job, but others would say it’s more like a battlefield. Teleflora is a flower bouquet company who knows that every rose has its thorns — and that motherhood is undeniably tough.
“One Tough Mother” is a commercial acknowledging that not every family is perfect. It shows scenes that capture the true pain and grit that goes into raising children. The sacrifice, fighting, and perpetual perseverance that many mothers constantly go through require the biggest of hearts.
Along with this powerful imagery, Vince Lombardi’s iconic “What It Takes to be Number One” speech is played over. Lombardi’s speech is one about battle, hardship, and victory:
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time.”
“You’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body.”
“And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline.”
“But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”
It’s exhaustingly difficult being a mother, like a soldier fighting an uphill battle. However, surrender is never an option, and hardship is always expected. It’s an experience full of highs and lows, risks and rewards.
Teleflora states at the end of the commercial that while “motherhood isn’t always hearts and roses… Mother’s Day can be.” It’s the best day of the year to reward your mom’s relentless endeavors.
“Thank You, Mom” was a commercial made by P&G during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. It begins by showing scenes of infants, kids, and young adults falling down repeatedly during their sports events, only for their moms to pick them back up again. Despite every collapse and failure, these kids eventually accomplish their olympic dreams — all thanks to the support of their mothers.
This advertisement accurately defines what it really means to be a mother. They are our unconditional number one supporters, and our direct source of courage and strength. Without a mother’s loving guidance, overcoming adversity would be almost impossible. Failure will always be inevitable, but that’s what moms are here for. They support us through times of pain and uncertainty, especially when no one else believes in you.
This of course doesn’t only apply to athletic competition, as sports are often used as metaphors for life in general. P&G illustrates both literally and metaphorically how moms always pick us up when we’re down — from the moment we begin walking, and all the way to the medal podium. No matter what stage of life we are at, we can count on our mothers to be right by our side.