In a recent interview
, I was asked the following question: "What is the biggest mistake companies make when marketing to moms?"
Missing the central truth of what matters most about their product to moms. It’s mystifying to me why in today’s world of real-time media – where it’s never been easier, faster or cheaper to get a quick read on what the marketplace wants – companies still brazenly assume they know from the comfort of their conference rooms.
This is precisely the trap that Farm Rich
fell into with this recent print ad for their snack foods.
I read this ad several times, thinking I must be missing something each time. Yet my questions never got answered:
- Don't you need to heat up these mini cheese steaks, pizzas and quesadillas? If so, how are they relevant to a car trip? Do they realize cars do not come equipped with microwaves and toaster ovens?
- Why does the girl look so pissed while her little brother is laughing his head off?
- Speaking of the toddler, why isn't his car seat in the center of the car? Every mother knows this is the safest spot in the car and where safety experts train parents to install car seats.
- Why is the tween son wearing a headset circa 1985?
- Are they on their way to the older boy’s soccer game? If so, why does the headline reference “Are We There Yet?” That's a car-trip reference, not a cross-town reference.
- Where do I find these in my grocery store? It’s unclear if they’re boxed or bagged, frozen or not. (This is the least of the concerns since I doubt this ad will prompt anyone to check out the product.)
Then the copy. It begins: “They’re impatient, bored and hungry.” One of the overarching truths about marketing to moms is to never be negative, even in a situation a mom hates. It’s like making fun of one’s own family – I can do it, but don’t you dare. What would have been a better tactic would be to position a really yummy hot snack as the thing that brings kids together, even in moments when they're captive in the car.
How to do this? Easy. Lose the headphones, have your talent scout fire the sister and sub in a smiler, bump shortie to the center seat spot, rewrite your copy and now -- now you've got an ad with Mom appeal.
But no. Farm Rich thought they had it knocked all on their own. For raising more questions than it answers, this Farm Rich ad wins a Wet Blanket award. In just 27 words, they manage to confuse, concern and turn off their target audience. All because they never bothered to utter these 4 words: "Let's ask some moms."
Labels: Marketing to Moms, Wet Blanket Award
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below, even if -- no, especially if --
you don't agree with what I've written.