WWTT? IHOP’s Mother’s Day Tweet Was Tasteless

Mother’s Day was this past Sunday, and as usual there was plenty of advertising around the day. So, why IHOP felt it was a good idea to post the following Mother’s Day tweet is a mystery.

Mother’s Day was this past Sunday, and as usual there was plenty of advertising around the day. According to the NRF, 84% of adults in the U.S. were expected to celebrate this year, with spending forecast to hit $25 billion, up from $23.1 billion in 2018 … that’s a lot of cards and flowers. Speaking of cards and flowers, those are just a couple of the traditional gifts, alongside gift cards, jewelry, etc. So, why IHOP felt it was a good idea to post the following Mother’s Day tweet is a mystery to me.

First off … IHOP, you got basic anatomy wrong, but let’s not stop there. Yes, you can use an ultrasound machine on many parts of the human body, but for most, it brings about the idea of a baby sonogram. While Mother’s Day is widely celebrated, it is also a challenging day for many … especially those who are having a tough time trying to get pregnant, those who have miscarried, and those who have lost a child. So photo-shopping a stack of pancakes into a uterus? That’s a hard no from me.

As David Griner at AdWeek so aptly wrote:

IHOP may have pulled off an impressive stunt with its supposed rebranding as IHOb, the International House of Burgers, but is the world ready for its attempt to be an IHOB-GYN? No. No, it is not.

And while I thought IHOP’s little foray into burgers was lame, I have to say this tweet is even worse. It’s off-putting, tone deaf, and irrelevant. Why not take the social media space to suggest skipping a potentially messy breakfast in bed, and instead take your mom/grandmother/wife out for a tasty breakfast full of delicious pancakes? Instead IHOP combined their product with a sonogram.

It makes you wonder about the decision-making being done at IHOP. Aside from the tasteless image, the tweet is poorly and childishly written. If you’re going to have an active social media presence, you need to be sure your messaging is on-brand, and if you’re going to change lanes to shake things up a bit, a discussion should be had with the relevant members of the marketing team. Otherwise … well … you see how it can go.

To make matters worse, IHOP’s tweet hit awkwardly as the nation continues a polarizing debate regarding state abortion bans. While I don’t think IHOP was trying to make a political statement one way or another, there is a lot to be said for appropriately reading a situation and making a call about whether your content will hit the mark, or come off as tone deaf.

IHOP Mother's Day Tweet replyThen again, IHOP isn’t the first marketer to utterly miss the mark when it comes to Mother’s Day … I will forever have this 2017 Skittles Mother’s Day ad lodged in my brain (and yes, it’s still disgusting).

So marketers, what do you think? Leave me a comment below!

Mother’s Day Marketing Got Weird in 2017

Mother’s Day was this past Sunday, and a number of marketers jumped into the mix. Let’s look at three of them: Skittles, Kraft and KFC.

Mother’s Day was this past Sunday, and a number of marketers jumped into the mix. Let’s look at three of them: Skittles, Kraft and KFC.

Last Friday, I took Skittles to task during my weekly “What Were They Thinking?” episode.

The 30-second ad, known as “Umbilical” — that should tell you all you need to know right there — includes the tagline “Cut the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.” And yeah, I was thoroughly grossed out … and our audience was, too, as they took to the comments. Bottom line: The majority of commenters agreed with me that the ad was gross, inappropriate for Mother’s Day, and a number of folks said they’d never be able to eat Skittles again.

I can’t say that I blame them. Watch the full video above, and if you’re curious about the comments (or want to leave your own!) head over to its main page here!

Moving on from GrossTown, we have a spot from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, which the CPG marketer turned into short (27 second) and long (just over 1.5 minutes) versions:

https://youtu.be/jV-opIMAtD4

It’s cute, with a mom and “swearing expert” who shows the difference between creative swearing vs. bleeped out, harsher versions of what she really wants to say.

And while I’m not a mom, I do remember how my mom did her best to keep her swearing to a minimum around me … she even kept a swear jar for the F-bomb, with the promise of dinner at Denny’s when it filled.

While I was a good kid, let’s put it this way … there were days when she pre-paid the jar.

Cute anecdote aside, Kraft tapped into a reality parents face, and who doesn’t smile at the little macaroni piece that covers the mom’s mouth as she uses salty language (accompanied with a bleep, mind you).

At the finish of the ad is the call to action to go to SwearLikeaMother.com where there was an offer of “fail-canceling ear plugs” (no longer available) and free downloadable content so you could make your own Mother’s Day card. Nice work Kraft … it’s cute, it’s funny and it’s relevant.

And of course, it wouldn’t be marketing without a stunt from KFC, right?

Yes that’s right, the folks at KFC and Wieden + Kennedy Portland came up with a 96-page romance novella e-book.

According to the fried chicken chain, Mother’s Day is its best-selling day of the year, so it decided to give moms a little extra. Reports on the quality of the novella’s steamy romance (oh yes, they didn’t flake on that) range from cringe-worthy to “actually decent,” but this is KFC, so I simply nod and say “of course.”

If you’re looking for more Mother’s Day advertising to scratch an itch — and yes, more of these are less weird, and more traditional — then check out this article from Ad Age.

This One’s for the Moms: A Mother’s Day Swipe File

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and as is usually the case with holidays and special events, my inbox didn’t let me forget it. While we’re all sufficiently brunched and flowered out, let’s take a look at six of the best Mother’s Day themed emails that I’ve come across in the last few weeks.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and as is usually the case with holidays and special events, my inbox didn’t let me forget it. (Not that I would have anyway … love you Mom!) While we’re all sufficiently brunched and flowered out, let’s take a look at six of the best Mother’s Day themed emails that I’ve come across in the last few weeks.

From: Broadway Boosters
Subj.: Happy Mother’s Day from Golde

Why I like it: Partly because of personal bias; Fiddler on the Roof just happens to be one of my favorite musicals of all time. But this email was a winner anyway. The nice little video from the musical’s matriarch was a sweet and clever way to tie in the holiday and promote the show. The design and personalization are keepers too.

fiddler

From: LivingSocial
Subj.: Keep Calm and Shop for Mom

Why I like it: The whole “Keep calm and _______” meme is honestly a few years stale, but I give this one credit because it’s so catchy. Extra points for the simply pretty art and the creative sale itself.

livingsocial

From: TLCme
Subj.: Have You Bought Your Mother’s Day Gift Yet?

Why I like it: I love guilt-trippy reminder subject lines, they’re so to-the-point and effective. The clincher: “9 Perfect Mother’s Day Gifts Under $20” is sure to get those click rates high.

tlcme

From: Charming Charlie
Subj.: The flowers your mom really wants!

Why I like it:  I love an email that judges other emails. As a matter of fact, I did receive no less than 20 emails from flower services in the days leading up to Mother’s Day, and you’ll notice none of them made this post. Most just felt a little uninspired, same old. Charming Charlie assumed this would be the case, and took the opportunity to one-up them in this tongue-in-cheek promo for floral necklaces. And hey, they’re right — my mom would like this more than flowers.

ccflowers

From: Hallmark
Subj.: Send Mom Some Love

Why I like it: Speaking of flowers, Hallmark made use of them in this cute, colorful, cartoon design. Of course Hallmark is in its element during sentimental holidays, so it’s no surprise they came through on their Mother’s Day campaigns. Definitely a smart time to offer a good deal for their eCards subscription service. I had to cut the image off, but the email also showed thumbnails of some of the Mother’s Day eCards you can find in their collection, a convenient way to show rather than tell readers why they should sign up.

hallmark

From: Lush
Subj.: Everyone and their mother will love this

Why I like it: Okay first of all? That subject line, though. Cmoooooooooooon the puns are my weakness. Next — that present graphic is actually an animated gif, very nice touch. The copy is good, and the link to a curated Mother’s Day Collection is good. There’s not even a special deal involved here but they’ve got me clicking through anyway.

banner

lushmom

That wraps up my mini-swipe collection for today. I want to wish all the moms a truly fab belated Mother’s Day. If you got nothing else from this blog post, at least you now have a nice little collection of emails you can forward to any forgetful or procrastinating kids who might need an idea or a reminder of what they might owe you. You’re welcome!