Deeds say a lot more than ads on Mother’s Day…

11 May,2022



By Sanjeev Kotnala


Sanjeev KotnalaTechnology day, Valentine’s Day, Armed Forces Day, Day of the Underprivileged, Language Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Women’s Day and many more. There are too many special days. The brands keep trying to discover or create a higher-order purpose to engage the audience. Many of them are just lip service.


As a brand and marketing consultant, I advise clients to comment on special days if they have done something substantial in that area. Otherwise, if they insist, just wishes would do.


For some categories, these days are a perfect fit. The brands have to say or do something different. Find an unexploited nuance that they can associate and better are seen aligned to. This communication may be for a short duration, but the communication is serious. The efforts put into the communication are at par with any other communication. All aiming for digital preview and viral shareability on social media. Nothing wrong with it. Brands and their strategic creative associates are expected to do this.


Mahindra: Acts mean a lot more than ads

We have seen many Mothers’ Day communication without brand association or heavy brand plugins this year. Some work, some don’t. But the one that worked for me is significantly simpler. It is an act, not an ad. It is not merely words but deeds. And because of the way it has been done with subtle simplicity, it is far more authentic and emotional. That is Anand Mahindra’s tweet sharing the company fulfilling the promise of providing a new home to Idle Amma.



ID: Overload Brand Integration

Compare it to the heavily (not heavenly) emotional ad from ID full of product placement. At times intrusive product placement. The communication could have been equally or far more effective if the packs were not so forcefully integrated. They are still stuck with #KHANNAKAYA and in-the-face brand placement. But this time, the emotional content is high.

Remember, when the message is completed in mind, it leaves a far more substantial impact- than when the brands try to spoon-feed their association. The thought is excellent, but the execution could have been far better.



BANDHAN BANK: Mother – the biggest banking inspiration

If you must integrate the product or the brand, it can be done subtly. Bandhan Bank has done this nicely and in a way that most households would relate to. It is lovely the way banking products are positioned and explained. A similar thought is voiced by Aavas Funanciers  but due to different visualisation and all centred within the classroom lacks lot more impact.



PANASONIC: Good cause, weak brand link

Meanwhile, Panasonic takes on a good cause- making Mother-care part of Childcare. And it should be – because healthier moms make healthier families. But the brand product and the thought seem too distant and unrelated. What’s happening here?



DSM GROUP: Good connect, focussed approach

DSM group operates in the area of animal and human  Nutrition and Health. It original name is Dutch State Mines, but now it would want DSM to read as Do Something Meaningful. They have been focused on Immunity development. Hence their communication in past has talked of #InvestInIron #InvestInYourImmunity and now again pushing #InvestInIron. The communication though created around #WorldAnaemiaDay (Nov 26) is relevant on Mother’s Day too. A case of clearly identified relevant purpose and objective under #ProjectStreeDhan



PREGA NEWS: Connecting with imperfect mother

Then there is Mankind Pharma which keeps surprising you with their communication. The brand in the past has demonstrated strong insight-oriented work with Women’s Day– so there is consistency in approach and tonality. This time, they do it brilliantly for Prega News  with #SheIsImperfectlyPerfect and something that will touch each mother. Why should perfection be demanded from every mother? Why the mother should always be under pressure to be perfect? Perfection is, in fact, a myth and imperfection a part of life.




And yes, if the brand really focuses on the special days, they can make an impact, thus creating or at least initiating a solid relationship with the audience. Yet, one has seen more ads than acts. The audience wants proof of preaching and questions the degree of involvement with the cause. Something that the brands must reconsider in the changing media and market scenario.

In that space, the Cadbury dairy milk digital campaigns like the , promoting local businesses, and the recent IPL behind the scenes are far more effective and relevant. There is something for the other brands to learn.



MOM of a different nature

Meanwhile MOM ( Methods of Madness by Scarecrow M&C Saatchi) sends a heartfelt video message for sons and daughters of India’s creative families. If you have anything to do with creative communication, you must watch these sessions that MOM has carefully recorded for you.  You will get to hear Prashant Godbole, Agnello Dias, Bobby Pawar,  Kalpesh Patankar, Ashish Khazanchi, Sajan Raj Kurup, Arun Iyer, Emmanuel Upputuru, Josy Paul, Viral Pandya, Vikram Gaikwad And  Dave Dye, Definitely a motherly moment.


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