Mothers' Day Campaigns

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Mother's Day Marketing - Avoiding Offending Consumers

To be culturally relevant and avoid offending consumers when marketing for Mother's Day, a premium cleaning brand should (a) avoid promoting chore-related items as ideal Mother's Day gifts, (b) pay attention to what moms actually want on Mother's Day, (c) be more inclusive, (d) focus on what makes a mom, (e) avoid trivializing motherhood or making inappropriate comparisons, (f) avoid conflating women with motherhood, and (g) recognize that no two moms are the same.

Avoid Promoting Chore-Related Items As Ideal Mother's Day Gifts

  • It is risky for a premium cleaning brand to suggest that people should give their mothers a vacuum cleaner or any cleaning appliance on Mother's Day. Based on a survey of 100 moms in the United States, vacuum cleaners or other chore-related gifts are the worst Mother's Day gifts moms could receive. It was also mentioned in another article that moms do not want to receive a vacuum cleaner on Mother's Day.
  • Moms explain that it is infuriating to be associated with cleaning, and be given a Mother's Day gift that is not really a gift but a tool to aid with household chores.
  • One supermarket chain was accused of being sexist when it released an ad showing a sewing machine, a vacuum cleaner, and an iron as gift suggestions for Mother's Day. The supermarket chain was forced to remove and replace the ad with one promoting handbags and jewelry after facing a backlash on social media, especially Twitter. Although the events took place in Germany, the same things can happen in the United States.

Pay Attention to What Moms Want on Mother's Day

  • The survey reveals, however, that moms appreciate gifts that allow them to take a break or a day off from household chores. They think gift certificates for house cleaning services are great, and they like it when their families offer to do household chores for them.
  • Moms like Mother's Day gifts that are personal and that allow them to spend some quality time either by themselves or together with their loved ones.

Be More Inclusive

  • When marketing for Mother's Day, brands, including premium cleaning brands, should be more inclusive and recognize that there are many people who have stepped into mothering roles but are not biological mothers. These individuals, who could be foster parents, grandparents, guardians, or LGBTQ parents, among others, would of course want to be acknowledged as well.
  • For example, there are 2 million to 3.7 million children below 18 in the United States who have an LGBTQ parent. Also, around 200,000 of these children have parents who are same-sex couples.
  • Not all attempts at inclusivity are well-received. When Chips Ahoy! tweeted on Mother's Day with a video of Drag Race star Vanessa Vanjie paying tribute to mothers of every kind, some people reacted negatively, saying that the ad is hyper-politicized.

Focus on What Makes a Mom

  • Given that not all mothers are biological mothers, brands, including premium cleaning brands, can do better by focusing instead on what it is that truly makes a mom.
  • Floral wire service business Teleflora set a great example with its "Love Makes a Mom" campaign, which featured minute-long vignettes of stories demonstrating that moms come in different forms, and that it is actually love that makes a mom. Teleflora's campaign was so impactful that, on Twitter alone, it figured in almost 4,500 Mother's Day messages.
  • Brands that are developing ads or campaigns for Mother's Day are advised to go beyond traditional Mother's Day constructs and pay attention to the topics and themes that matter most to mothers and their families.

Avoid Trivializing Motherhood or Making Inappropriate Comparisons

  • What happened to IHOP recently should serve as a lesson not just for restaurant brands but for all brands marketing for Mother's Day. IHOP was severely criticized for an image it posted on social media on Mother's Day.
  • The image was an ultrasound of a uterus that appeared to be pregnant with a big stack of pancakes. It had the caption "If you have pancakes in your tum tum, does that make you a pancake mum mum?"
  • The public did not find IHOP's attempt at humor and politics funny. Several people expressed disgust and disappointment, and found the ad insensitive and odd considering the heated national conversation around the reproductive rights of women.
  • Some people said the ad was done in poor taste, while some were troubled by the fact that the brand conflated a human embryo with pancakes.

Avoid Conflating Women With Motherhood

  • While an increased focus on inclusivity is great, brands, including premium cleaning brands, should take care not to send Mother's Day messages to women who are not mothers.
  • Women who are not parents or guardians get annoyed when they receive Mother's Day messages from brands. These mistargeted messages make it seem that the worth and identity of women are being conflated with motherhood, and that "there is no role for women outside motherhood."

Recognize That No Two Moms Are The Same

  • To be culturally relevant and inclusive, premium cleaning brands should realize that "no two moms are alike."
  • Based on an article published by New York-based advertising news site AdAge, brands' biggest misstep when marketing to moms is treating all moms as one homogeneous group.

Research Strategy

In finding the desired information, we researched topics such as the do's and don'ts when marketing for Mother's Day and the common mistakes that brands make when marketing for Mother's Day. We looked for surveys as well to determine what moms want or do not want on Mother's Day. Examples of offensive or tasteless Mother's Day ads, promotions, messages, and campaigns were also consulted, as they offer insights into what can potentially rub consumers the wrong way. As there is limited information specific to premium cleaning brands, we included insights that we believe a premium cleaning brand in the United States will find useful.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

Case Studies - Premium Cleaning Brands: Communication and Marketing for Mother's Day

Neato Robotics, Ecovacs, and ILIFE, all premium cleaning brands in the United States, approach Mother's Day marketing and advertising by highlighting how moms deserve a break and how people, by giving their moms robot vacuums, can help their moms get the rest and relaxation they deserve.

Neato Robotics

  • Neato Robotics is a California-based manufacturer of robot vacuums. Neato is one of the best brands of robot vacuums in the United States, according to an article published by PC Magazine.
  • For Mother's Day 2019, it posted on Facebook a limited-time discount of $130 on its robots D4, D6, and D7, while on Twitter, it shared a Bloomberg article indicating that the Neato Botvac D7 Connected is one of the best Mother's Day gifts to give apart from flowers. The Facebook post came with an image of a robot vacuum that had traced a heart and the word 'Mom' on the carpet.
  • For Mother's Day 2018, it issued both a blog post explaining why the Botvac D5 Connected is the perfect new gadget for Mom and a limited-time offer providing a discount of $100 on purchases of the unit at participating retailers. The blog post had an image of a mom playing with her baby on the sofa and the caption "Give Mom a break this Mother's Day." Through the blog post, Neato encouraged people to make up for their messy childhood years by giving their Mom "one less thing to worry about."
  • Neato also posted on Facebook and Twitter a very short video of a pair of feet put up and the stamp "Best Mom Ever." The post came with the caption "Everyday is Mother's Day with Neato robots... go on relax and put your feet up, you deserve it" and the hashtag #ThanksMom. Neato also gave its Twitter followers the chance to win a Neato robot by sending in why their mom deserves a Neato.

Ecovacs

  • Ecovacs is a China-based cleaning robot manufacturer with sales in the United States. Ecovacs is one of the best brands of robot vacuums in the United States, according to an article published by PC Magazine.
  • For Mother's Day 2019, it posted on both Facebook and Twitter a video of five robot vacuum cleaners converging and forming the shape of a flower. Beneath the flower was the greeting "happy mother's day." The post had the caption "Would you rather give a great gift or clean the house for your mom? Well the #Deebot is the answer to both!"
  • The post also came with the hashtag #DoMoreofWhatYouLove.
  • For Mother's Day 2018, Ecovacs posted on Facebook two Mother's Day video greetings. Both video greetings had the robot vacuum, but one featured confetti, and the other featured a wooden floor. The first video had a caption saying that like moms who have always been there to "clean up our different messes," the Deebot 900 can also clean up various messes as well. The second video, on the other hand, had a caption saying that "a mother's love is like no other."
  • On Twitter, Ecovacs posted a cartoon-like drawing of a mom relaxing on a sofa and reading a book, and a robot vacuum cleaner in the background. In the caption, Ecovacs wrote how a day-long celebration is not enough to honor mothers. It also encouraged moms to "put Deebot to work and sit back."

ILIFE Robot

  • ILIFE Robot is a China-based robot cleaner manufacturer with sales in the United States. ILIFE is one of the best brands of robot vacuums in the United States, according to an article published by PC Magazine.
  • For Mother's Day 2019, ILIFE posted on both Facebook and YouTube a video asking people how they celebrate Mother's Day. It asked people if they celebrate with coffee, macaroons, or roses, or by helping their mom around the house. It followed this question up by presenting another choice, the robot vacuum cleaner, and by saying that "for a mother, the best gift is to see her child grow healthy."
  • It also encouraged people to buy on Amazon by offering a 20% discount.
  • For Mother's Day 2018, ILIFE posted on Facebook a video montage of a mom going through the various stages of motherhood, from being pregnant to seeing her daughter get married. It subtly showed the robot vacuum in the last frame.
  • In the caption, ILIFE listed the various roles that mothers play: full-time professional, avid homemaker, master chef, and devoted caretaker. It added that moms have always been there for us, and it encouraged people to buy a V8 so their moms no longer have to bend over or backspin to clean the floor.

Research Strategy

We began with a press search for recently published case studies, articles, or reports that cover how premium cleaning brands are approaching marketing and advertising during Mother's Day. When this initial approach did not turn up useful results, we researched specific premium cleaning brands. We learned from an article published by PC Magazine that other premium cleaning brands, apart from iRobot, include Ecovacs, Neato, Eufy, and iLife, so we turned our attention to these brands.

Researching these brands one by one, we learned that there is hardly any press coverage of these brands' Mother's Day marketing efforts. We tried as much as possible to find paid ad placements as instructed, but after trying different approaches such as consulting the brand's ad library on Facebook and looking up the brand on Twitter's ad transparency center, the only relevant marketing-related materials we were able to find were social media posts and a press release. We could not ascertain what these brands' ad placements were in the past Mother's Day celebrations, as social media tools only show the active ads.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Insights and Trends - Creating Culturally Relevant Mother's Day Campaigns

Four trends that premium cleaning brands are following when creating culturally relevant Mother's Day campaigns include highlighting the need to free up moms' time, recognizing the many roles that moms play, acknowledging the different stages of motherhood, and focusing on what moms have done and what they deserve.

Highlighting the Need to Free Up Moms' Time

  • Even though premium cleaning brands are implying in their marketing materials for Mother's Day that it is the moms who clean the house, they are making their Mother's Day campaigns culturally relevant by highlighting the need to free up moms' time for more important or enjoyable things.
  • This appears to be a trend because a number of premium cleaning brands have been observed to be doing this.
  • Neato, one of the best robot vacuum brands in the United States, highlighted in its marketing material for Mother's Day 2018 that giving moms a robot vacuum is equivalent to giving moms the gift of time. It highlighted that with robot vacuums, moms will have "one less thing to worry about" and more time to do what they want to do.
  • Ecovacs, another one of the best robot vacuum brands in the country, depicted in its marketing material for Mother's Day 2018 a mom having a nice time reading a book and relaxing on the sofa while a robot vacuum is working in the background. It wrote in its post that a day-long celebration is not enough and that moms deserve a far longer break. Moms with robot vacuums can sit back and relax while they put their robot vacuums to work.

Recognizing the Many Roles that Moms Play

  • Although it appears premium cleaning brands have not yet featured non-traditional mothers in its Mother's Day marketing materials, premium cleaning brands are making their Mother's Day more culturally relevant by recognizing the many roles that moms play and the large amount of work that they do.
  • A number of premium cleaning brands have been observed to be doing this, so this can be considered an ongoing trend.
  • ILIFE, another one of the best robot vacuum brands in the country, put a spotlight on these roles in its marketing material for Mother's Day 2018. It highlighted how moms can be a full-time professional, an avid homemaker, a master chef, and a devoted caretaker all at the same time.
  • The posts of both Neato and Ecovacs for Mother's Day 2018 emphasize the large amount of work that moms do. Neato ran a contest encouraging people to send in the reasons their moms deserve a Neato robot vacuum, and one of the winning responses demonstrated how busy a mom can be. Ecovacs also alluded to "all the work that moms do."

Acknowledging the Different Stages of Motherhood

  • Premium cleaning brands are making their Mother's Day marketing campaigns more culturally relevant and inclusive by acknowledging there are various stages of motherhood and different generations of mothers.
  • The number of premium cleaning brands doing this suggests that this is an ongoing trend.
  • In its Twitter post for Mother's Day 2018, Neato provided evidence that "all generations love #Neato robot vacuums." It showcased a contest entry that says their mom deserves a Neato because she is not only a mom but a grandma who wants to play with her grandkids as well.
  • For Mother's Day 2018, ILIFE posted a video showing the different stages of motherhood. It showed the journey of a mom as she gracefully aged. ILIFE started with an image of a pregnant woman then ended with images of a fully-grown daughter and a much more mature mom.

Focusing on What Moms Have Done and What They Deserve

  • Premium cleaning brands are focusing less on cleaning and more on the sacrifices moms have made and the joys in life that they deserve.
  • This seems to be a trend because a number of premium cleaning brands are doing this.
  • For Mother's Day 2018, Ecovacs highlighted how "a mother's love is like no other" and how "moms have always been there to clean up our different messes." ILIFE also conveyed the same message, saying that moms have always been there when we need them.
  • Neato and Ecovacs both emphasized in their marketing materials how much moms deserve to relax and take a break from their usual day-to-day lives.

Research Strategy

In identifying the desired trends, we employed a number of strategies. First, we checked if the trends are readily available. It soon became evident, however, that there is no pre-compiled information on the topic. Trends surrounding the Mother's Day campaigns of premium cleaning brands or robot vacuums could not be located in the public domain. It appeared as well that premium cleaning brands have not launched any full-blown Mother's Day campaign (e.g., one involving television, radio, and out-of-home ads).

To uncover more information, we decided to research premium cleaning brands one by one. These brands may have shared some insights about their Mother's Day activities, so we decided to check whether news or media outlets have reported on these insights. The brands that we researched were Neato, Ecovacs, and ILIFE because they, along with iRobot, were identified by PC Magazine as the best robot vacuum brands in the United States. Similar to iRobot, they specialize in developing robot vacuum cleaners. Unfortunately, we learned that press coverage of these brands' Mother's Day campaigns or marketing activities is non-existent.

The lack of press coverage then prompted us to scour the brands' website and social media accounts. We figured that we could identify the trends by looking at the brands' Mother's Day marketing materials. This final strategy proved helpful as we were able to find the brands' Mother's Day posts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. By examining these social media posts, we were able to gain a better understanding of ongoing trends.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Demographics - Premium Cleaning Brand Consumers

Sources suggest that premium cleaning brand consumers in the United States tend to be young, male, affluent, and well-educated. They likely reside in urban areas, and they likely live with their significant other.

Age

  • Based on a survey conducted by Bespoke Market Intelligence in 2019, 21.6% of Roomba owners in the United States are in the 25-34 age group, 20.8% are in the 18-24 age group, 18.4% are in the 35-44 age group, 12.8% are in the 55-64 age group, 11.2% are in the 45-54 age group, 10.4% are in the 75+ age group, and 4.8% are in the 65-74 age group.
  • Given that iRobot's Roomba accounts for 85% of the United States robotic vacuum cleaner market and consequently holds a substantial share of the country's premium cleaning brand market, it can be safely assumed that the aforementioned age distribution is true of premium cleaning brand consumers as well.
  • The aforementioned percentages suggest that premium cleaning brand consumers in the country tend to be younger adults.

Gender

  • Bespoke Market Intelligence's recent survey reveals that of Roomba owners in the United States, 59.2% are male, while 40.8% are female.
  • These figures and the aforementioned assumption suggest that premium cleaning brand consumers in the country tend to be male.
  • Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and Siemens Medical Solutions in Pennsylvania conducted a survey of Roomba users some time around January 2008. The results of this survey revealed that Roomba users then were "equally likely to be men or women."

Income

  • According to Bespoke Market Intelligence's recent survey, 65.6% of Roomba owners have a household income of at least $50,000, while only 34.4% have a household income below $50,000.
  • These figures and the aforementioned assumption suggest that premium cleaning brand consumers in the country tend to have a high household income.

Education

  • Based on the previously mentioned old survey, Roomba users are mostly well-educated. Of the 379 Roomba users who were polled. 229 or 60% had an undergraduate degree, 112 or 30% had a graduate degree, and 9% had at most a high school education.
  • Of the 341 Roomba users with at least an undergraduate degree, 153 or 45% had engineering-related degrees.
  • It is likely that this survey finding still holds true today because well-educated people typically are in a better financial position to buy a premium or high-end cleaning appliance such as a robot vacuum.

Marital Status

  • While the distribution of premium cleaning brand consumers by marital status could not be provided, the aforementioned old survey indicates that of the 379 Roomba users polled, 164 or 43% lived with other adults (who were not their children), 128 or 34% lived with children and other adults, and 85 or 23% lived alone.
  • Given these figures, it is likely that most premium cleaning brand consumers live with their significant other.

Location

  • Most premium cleaning brand consumers likely reside in urban areas, as the lifestyle of busy and time-strapped urban dwellers is considered a key driver of growth in the global robotic vacuum cleaner market.
  • Since the United States holds a substantial share of the global robotic vacuum cleaner market, it can be safely assumed that the lifestyle of busy and time-strapped urban dwellers is a key driver of growth as well in the United States market for premium cleaning brands.

Research Strategy

We started off with a scan for articles, studies, or reports that readily provide the demographic profile of premium cleaning brand consumers, keeping in mind that an example of a premium cleaning brand is robot vacuum manufacturer iRobot. It is possible that research has already been done on the subject, so we checked first if the information is readily available. This strategy led us to a study published by ResearchGate and a survey published by Bespoke Market Intelligence. Unfortunately, only the second source is recently published. The first source was published way back in 2008. From these sources, we were able to gather insights about the age, gender, income, education, household composition, and occupation of Roomba owners. Given that Roomba accounts for 85% of the United States robot vacuum market, we deemed it safe to assume that the demographic profile of Roomba users is representative of the demographic profile of premium cleaning brand consumers.

Since only the information about age, gender, and income is up to date, we tried to research the education, the marital status, and the geographic location of premium cleaning brand consumers one by one. We hoped that by zeroing in on these topics, we would be able to find more recent information. Results were very limited, however, and the only new relevant information we learned was that "the on-the-go lifestyle of people in the urban areas" is one of the key factors driving growth in the residential robotic vacuum cleaner market. Recent surveys covering these specific demographic variables do not appear to be available in the public domain.

We checked as well if premium cleaning brands such as iRobot, Neato, and Ecovacs have individually shared information about the demographic profile of its consumers or its target market. Brands sometimes share details about their users or audience, so we decided to look for news articles covering these brands. This strategy did not produce any additional information, however, so we decided to utilize the findings in the two older sources that we found. In lieu of the marital status, which we could not locate in the public domain, we presented the next best thing we were able to find, which was the household composition.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Psychographics - Premium Cleaning Brand Consumers

Consumers purchase premium cleaning products such as a robot vacuum for a variety of reasons, including the need for help with house cleaning and the desire to own the latest technology. Price, privacy concerns, and robot limitations appear to be the biggest barriers to purchase. Most owners of premium cleaning products believe that these products have changed their lives for the better and that their homes are now cleaner and healthier thanks to these products.

Motivations and Needs

  • Consumers who are likely to buy premium cleaning products such as a robot vacuum are (a) pet owners and (b) people who reside in apartments lined with hardwood floors. These groups of people are the types of consumers who are expected to benefit the most from the use of a high-end cleaning appliance.
  • According to Jonathan Chan, a Reviewed.com senior lab technician, pet owners "want help with the tufts of hair when their pets shed."
  • There are consumers, however, who are just looking for the latest luxury good or technology they can buy.
  • Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and Siemens Medical Solutions in Pennsylvania polled 379 Roomba users around January 2008. Based on this survey, the top motivations for a robot vacuum purchase then were as follows: own or other's experience (188 or 50%), interest in the latest technology (173 or 46%), dislike for vacuuming (171 or 45%), curiosity (152 or 40%), dream to own robot (79 or 21%), need for help with cleaning (63 or 17%), and physical difficulties (44 or 12%).

Purchase Intention

  • Thirty-two percent of consumers are likely to buy robotic products in the following five years. Of these consumers, 79% are interested in utilizing robotic products for the purpose of house cleaning.
  • At present, only 20% of consumers express interest in robots that are designed to help with household chores. Sixty-eight percent of consumers are either somewhat disinterested or very disinterested.

General Buying/Spending Habits

  • When deciding to buy a premium cleaning appliance such as a robot vacuum, consumers are faced primarily with two concerns.
  • The first concern has something to do with privacy. Consumers have this growing worry that their house will be mapped by the robot vacuum and that the information will be shared with third parties.
  • The second concern relates to the robot vacuum's limitations. The robot vacuum, in its present state, has limitations, as it actually cannot vacuum the whole house on its own. Depending on the layout of their house, consumers may have to carry the appliance from one floor to another.
  • The brands Roomba and iRobot are quite popular among consumers. Based on a recent survey, Roomba and iRobot are the most popular brands of consumer robotics that they know.
  • The amount consumers are willing to pay for a robot that is capable of handling household routine chores is as follows: $250 or less (42%), $251 to $500 (10%), $501 to $750 (3%), $751 to $1,000 (3%), and over $1,000 (3%). Compared to 37% of consumers who are at least 55 years old, 47% of consumers below 35 are interested in less expensive household robots.
  • The biggest barrier to the purchase of a premium cleaning product is price.

Values

  • It appears premium cleaning brand consumers believe in the importance of a cleaner and healthier home for themselves and their children, and in the ability of a high-end cleaning appliance such as a robot vacuum to change their lives for the better. It appears they are willing to pay a premium for the things that are important to them.
  • According to a survey, 77% of robot vacuum owners report that their home is cleaner, 72% report that their home is healthier, and 72% say that their robot vacuum use has been life-changing.

Hobbies and Media Consumption Habits

  • The hobbies and media consumption habits of premium cleaning brand consumers could not be reliably determined given the limited information that is publicly available.
  • What is clear, however, is that premium cleaning products such as the robot vacuum help owners free up time for more important or more enjoyable things. For example, in his article about how a robot vacuum changed his life for the better, Digital Trends contributor Bruce Brown noted that with the robot vacuum Deebot, he now has "more time and less guilt."
  • In her blog post about why she bought a Roomba, Mrs. Frugalwoods noted that with the Roomba, she is "free to engage in more meaningful pursuits."

Research Strategy

Consumer psychographics are often determined through polls, so we first looked for surveys of owners, users, or potential buyers of premium cleaning products such as the robot vacuum. With this initial strategy, we were able to find a few surveys that together offered insights into the following topics: the purchase intention of consumers, the interest level of consumers, the price consumers are willing to pay for a cleaning robot, the level of satisfaction of owners, the purchase motivations of consumers, and the biggest barrier to purchase. Unfortunately, two of these five surveys were not published in the past 24 months and could not be considered recent. One was published in 2008, while the other was published in early 2017.

To gather more psychographic details, we turned our attention to qualitative information and looked for sources covering the behavior of owners, users, or buyers of premium cleaning products. As quantitative data on the subject is limited, the next best thing we could do is to find qualitative information. Thankfully, this second strategy led us to a couple of articles that touch on the types of people who are likely to buy premium cleaning products and the concerns consumers have with cleaning robots.

Since the hobbies and media consumption habits of premium cleaning brand consumers remained elusive, we decided to look at customer testimonials and reviews, such as those published by Bruce Brown and Mrs. Frugalwoods. Though these types of sources are not ideal and represent only the viewpoints of a few people, these sources may contain some details about hobbies and media consumption habits. Unfortunately, all we could deduce from these sources is that premium cleaning products or appliances help owners free up time for more meaningful or more enjoyable pursuits.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02