‘Marketers failing to connect with mums’

Brands are alienating mums by portraying them as one group in their marketing campaigns, according to research that found a fifth (19 per cent) of UK mothers do not relate to the representation of mums seen in advertising.

Mum phone 460
Nearly a quarter of mums questioned by Saatchi & Saatchi for Mumsnet said they do not relate to the representation of mums seen in advertising.

The research, conducted by Saatchi & Saatchi for Mumsnet, finds that many modern day definitions of mums are out of date, with mothers more likely to be divided along the traditional lines of wealth, class, education and geography rather than factors such as number of children, age and whether she works or stays at home.

“There is a desperate need for society to treat mums as individual women. And marketers need to properly empathise with real Mums and not the pen portraits in their heads,” says the report.

The research reveals a series of five “myths” of the modern mum that marketers are using to advertise to mothers. These include the myth that motherhood “is an unrelenting life of drudgery with the odd moment of saintly pride” and that dads are “clowns at best and at worst sideshows”.

Instead, almost 60 per cent of mums say the best fun they have is with their kids and 55 per cent think their partner is just as involved in parenting as they are. The findings suggest brands need to convey motherhood as fun and communicate to dads as well in order to effectively target marketing budgets.

Read a full analysis of the research here. 

Five tips for marketing to mums

– Don’t label mums – recognise that this is just one part of their identity.
– Stop promising perfection and chastising mothers when they fall short.
– Stop treating mums like children.
– Celebrate the fun of motherhood.
– Parenting matters to dads. Communicate not just to the mum, but to the parenting unit.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here