How to Advertise for Mother’s Day in the Age of Coronavirus

Mother’s Day is a big deal in the United States, with Americans spending more than $23 billion on gifts and experiences for their beloved matriarchs.

But this year, the holiday will look a lot different than in years past. And for brands advertising Mother’s Day products and services via email, the COVID-19 shutdown comes with many challenges.

More than 25 million Americans are out of work, meaning they likely don’t have discretionary income to spend on lavish gifts for mom. And those people who do have jobs may be struggling to keep up with work, homeschooling, and chores, and don’t have the time or patient to pick out a thoughtful gift. Then there’s the fact that a large portion of the population will still likely be sheltering in place on Mother’s Day, taking experiences such as dining, movies, and cultural events off the table.

With all this in mind, brands need to tap into what’s going on and find a way to be sensitive to customers’ needs during this time of uncertainty. That means skipping their conventional Mother’s Day advertising campaign and coming up with inventive ways that people can celebrate their families’ matriarchs.

Here are some ideas.

1. Emphasize digital experiences

Whether it’s work, dating, or fitness, the pandemic has made almost every aspect of our lives exclusively digital. Brands can leverage content marketing and native-style advertising to engage customers looking to adjust to this “new normal” with ideas on how their products could be used in a digital experience in celebration of Mother’s Day.


2. Provide gift cards

Since customers can’t go shopping right now, gift cards are golden. Make it easy for your customers to send moms gift cards, but make sure the expiration date is far enough into the future.


3. Come up with special deals

Since many people are suffering financially and can’t spend a lot on gifts, find a way to create special deals and coupons to show customers they don’t have to pay a premium to make mom feel appreciated. Come up with mom-themed a coupon code, run a two-for-one special, or even include an extra gift with a purchase.


4. Allow for rush shipping

Since so many retailers are closed – or customers are simply too scared to go shopping – they can’t buy gifts in person. Make it easy to purchase gifts online and ship them as quickly as possible. To sweeten the deal, provide free shipping for all purchases, or for purchases that reach a minimum spend amount.


5. Offer free digital greeting cards

Pre-pandemic, kids and grandkids would often make cards to go along with presents, which doesn’t work so well in the time of social distancing. Collaborate with artists to provide free digital cards to go along with gifts and let customers write special messages and upload their own pictures to personalize the cards.

Want to learn more about effective creative strategies and best practices for Mother’s Day marketing during COVID-19? Check out this recording of the Real Time Banter webinar.