Marketers Take Note: Mom's Not Listening

Latest Study From Burnett's LeoShe(TM) Team Says Most Moms Advertising

Is Missing Its Mark



Mar 09, 1999, 00:00 ET from Leo Burnett Company

    CHICAGO, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Most marketers creating advertising for
 Mom are relying too much on cliches, generalizations and over-simplifications
 according to a new study conducted by Leo Burnett Company's LeoShe(TM) team.
     The study, entitled "Fertile Ground," was led by the four-person group
 to fuel the Chicago-based agency and its clients with insights that will "give
 birth to great moms advertising."  The inspiration for the study, according to
 LeoShe lead team member Denise Fedewa, was "the current state of advertising
 that targets Mom."
     "There are a handful of cliches that are used in nearly all ads targeting
 mothers," said Fedewa, vp planning director at Burnett.  "From the soccer mom
 to the germ-a-phobe, advertisers are employing obsolete ideals of what
 motherhood is all about.  The moms in most ads don't exist anymore, and we
 wanted to find out who Mom really is so that our clients could find relevant
 ways to connect their brands with this important consumer."
 
     Heard Over Coffee
     The study involved 403 mothers, including statistically significant
 numbers of Caucasian, African American and Latina women.  Many were initially
 invited to participate in informal "coffees" -- in-home interviews with groups
 of women friends in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
     The coffees were preceded by an extensive "pop culture audit" of
 literature, textbooks, studies, magazines and television programs that deal
 with motherhood, as well as symposia on gender evolution and trends.  They
 were proceeded by quantitative surveys and a thorough segmentation analysis to
 further substantiate findings.
 
     The Four Faces Of Mom
     The final analysis revealed four distinct groups of mothers (equal in
 size), each defined by her perceived involvement of the father in
 child-rearing and the importance of self-actualization outside of motherhood.
 Each group is also influenced by feelings about motherhood, views on working
 moms, the extent to which her children were planned and the values she is
 trying to impart on her children.  (Each group accounts for approximately 25
 percent of the population of mothers.)
 
     1.  June Cleaver: The Sequel -- While the traditional, "June Cleaver"
         mom no longer exists, there is a strong population of women who
         hold to conventional, "dad the bread-winner, mom the nurturer"
         parental roles.  This mother exists to care for her family, and
         recognizes her role as an extremely important one.
 
     2.  Tug-of-War -- Traditional roles and values are important to this
         group of moms, most of whom enjoy motherhood but are considerably
         beleaguered by the economic need to work outside the home.  Forced
         to play dual roles of traditional mom and provider, they express a
         loss-of-self and frequently resent the self-sacrifice required of
         them.
 
     3.  Strong Shoulders -- This hard-working group of women reports extremely
         low "Dad involvement," and while they lament the timing of their
         children ("if only I would have waited until I was more settled"),
         they are resourceful mothers who emphasize learning, growing and
         self-esteem with their offspring.
 
     4.  Mothers of Invention -- Enjoying a strong sense of balance and little
         personal sacrifice, Mothers of Invention practice creative mothering
         with no single view of the right way to do things.  They generally
         consider Dad an equal partner, and believe they are living proof that
         having a successful career and a happy family are equally attainable.
 
     In addition to looking at the current state of motherhood, "Fertile
 Ground" also explored the future of motherhood, identifying Strong Shoulders
 and Mothers of Invention as likely growth segments.
 
     Mothers of Diversity
     The quantitative survey and subsequent proprietary segmentation analysis
 confirmed distinct cultural nuances that distinguish African American, Latina
 and Caucasian mothers.  Among the issues that were explored and differentiated
 were several sociological factors that had been identified in the literature
 review (see Note) as significant: a) motherhood as a symbol of power; b) the
 value of "other-mothering" and women-centered networks; c) community and
 social activism; d) sense of duty and self-sacrifice.
     The analysis, coupled with demographic forecasts, revealed several current
 and future realities about mothers of various ethnic backgrounds.
 
     Implications for Marketers
     Throughout the first quarter of 1999, the implications of the "Fertile
 Ground" findings will be shared with clients of the Leo Burnett Company who
 market products to mothers.
     Just as the agency teams were during internal presentations, these
 marketers will be privy to a detailed analysis of what truly does not matter
 to today's selective battle-choosing mother (cooking from scratch, keeping a
 home spotless, etc.), as well as what is extremely important to her (building
 close relationship with and expanding the horizons of her kids).
     Every presentation of "Fertile Ground" concludes with thoughtful
 suggestions for bridging the gap between current messages and more relevant
 ones, and examples of ads that "get it" and "don't get it."
     LeoShe is a cross-functional team of women who joined forces in 1998 to
 "explore and lead new thinking on women's issues as they pertain to marketing
 and advertising."  Its lead team includes Fedewa; Susan Wayne, vp, account
 director; Cherri Patel, vp, senior planner; and Jeanie Caggiano, vp, creative
 director.
     Leo Burnett currently produces mom-targeted advertising for such clients
 as Kellogg, Disney, Kraft, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble and others.  Its
 global network is comprised of more than 200 operating units that offer
 specialty marketing services, including 85 full-service offices in 75 markets
 worldwide.  Burnett employs more than 8,500 people worldwide, and projects
 1998 global billings of $6.61 billion.
 
     Note: Of particular influence was the book "Double Stitch: Black Women
 Write About Mothers & Daughters," Beacon Press 1991.
 
 

SOURCE Leo Burnett Company
    CHICAGO, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Most marketers creating advertising for
 Mom are relying too much on cliches, generalizations and over-simplifications
 according to a new study conducted by Leo Burnett Company's LeoShe(TM) team.
     The study, entitled "Fertile Ground," was led by the four-person group
 to fuel the Chicago-based agency and its clients with insights that will "give
 birth to great moms advertising."  The inspiration for the study, according to
 LeoShe lead team member Denise Fedewa, was "the current state of advertising
 that targets Mom."
     "There are a handful of cliches that are used in nearly all ads targeting
 mothers," said Fedewa, vp planning director at Burnett.  "From the soccer mom
 to the germ-a-phobe, advertisers are employing obsolete ideals of what
 motherhood is all about.  The moms in most ads don't exist anymore, and we
 wanted to find out who Mom really is so that our clients could find relevant
 ways to connect their brands with this important consumer."
 
     Heard Over Coffee
     The study involved 403 mothers, including statistically significant
 numbers of Caucasian, African American and Latina women.  Many were initially
 invited to participate in informal "coffees" -- in-home interviews with groups
 of women friends in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
     The coffees were preceded by an extensive "pop culture audit" of
 literature, textbooks, studies, magazines and television programs that deal
 with motherhood, as well as symposia on gender evolution and trends.  They
 were proceeded by quantitative surveys and a thorough segmentation analysis to
 further substantiate findings.
 
     The Four Faces Of Mom
     The final analysis revealed four distinct groups of mothers (equal in
 size), each defined by her perceived involvement of the father in
 child-rearing and the importance of self-actualization outside of motherhood.
 Each group is also influenced by feelings about motherhood, views on working
 moms, the extent to which her children were planned and the values she is
 trying to impart on her children.  (Each group accounts for approximately 25
 percent of the population of mothers.)
 
     1.  June Cleaver: The Sequel -- While the traditional, "June Cleaver"
         mom no longer exists, there is a strong population of women who
         hold to conventional, "dad the bread-winner, mom the nurturer"
         parental roles.  This mother exists to care for her family, and
         recognizes her role as an extremely important one.
 
     2.  Tug-of-War -- Traditional roles and values are important to this
         group of moms, most of whom enjoy motherhood but are considerably
         beleaguered by the economic need to work outside the home.  Forced
         to play dual roles of traditional mom and provider, they express a
         loss-of-self and frequently resent the self-sacrifice required of
         them.
 
     3.  Strong Shoulders -- This hard-working group of women reports extremely
         low "Dad involvement," and while they lament the timing of their
         children ("if only I would have waited until I was more settled"),
         they are resourceful mothers who emphasize learning, growing and
         self-esteem with their offspring.
 
     4.  Mothers of Invention -- Enjoying a strong sense of balance and little
         personal sacrifice, Mothers of Invention practice creative mothering
         with no single view of the right way to do things.  They generally
         consider Dad an equal partner, and believe they are living proof that
         having a successful career and a happy family are equally attainable.
 
     In addition to looking at the current state of motherhood, "Fertile
 Ground" also explored the future of motherhood, identifying Strong Shoulders
 and Mothers of Invention as likely growth segments.
 
     Mothers of Diversity
     The quantitative survey and subsequent proprietary segmentation analysis
 confirmed distinct cultural nuances that distinguish African American, Latina
 and Caucasian mothers.  Among the issues that were explored and differentiated
 were several sociological factors that had been identified in the literature
 review (see Note) as significant: a) motherhood as a symbol of power; b) the
 value of "other-mothering" and women-centered networks; c) community and
 social activism; d) sense of duty and self-sacrifice.
     The analysis, coupled with demographic forecasts, revealed several current
 and future realities about mothers of various ethnic backgrounds.
 
     Implications for Marketers
     Throughout the first quarter of 1999, the implications of the "Fertile
 Ground" findings will be shared with clients of the Leo Burnett Company who
 market products to mothers.
     Just as the agency teams were during internal presentations, these
 marketers will be privy to a detailed analysis of what truly does not matter
 to today's selective battle-choosing mother (cooking from scratch, keeping a
 home spotless, etc.), as well as what is extremely important to her (building
 close relationship with and expanding the horizons of her kids).
     Every presentation of "Fertile Ground" concludes with thoughtful
 suggestions for bridging the gap between current messages and more relevant
 ones, and examples of ads that "get it" and "don't get it."
     LeoShe is a cross-functional team of women who joined forces in 1998 to
 "explore and lead new thinking on women's issues as they pertain to marketing
 and advertising."  Its lead team includes Fedewa; Susan Wayne, vp, account
 director; Cherri Patel, vp, senior planner; and Jeanie Caggiano, vp, creative
 director.
     Leo Burnett currently produces mom-targeted advertising for such clients
 as Kellogg, Disney, Kraft, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble and others.  Its
 global network is comprised of more than 200 operating units that offer
 specialty marketing services, including 85 full-service offices in 75 markets
 worldwide.  Burnett employs more than 8,500 people worldwide, and projects
 1998 global billings of $6.61 billion.
 
     Note: Of particular influence was the book "Double Stitch: Black Women
 Write About Mothers & Daughters," Beacon Press 1991.
 
 SOURCE  Leo Burnett Company