Herbal Essences and Teleflora belong to two of America’s largest business conglomerates. The former is owned by P&G, a multinational consumer goods corporation that owns 66 brands. The latter is a member of The Wonderful Company, a corporation that maintains an impressive portfolio of names including FIJI Water, Wonderful Halos, and JUSTIN Wines. In the following case study, we’ll examine standout Mother’s Day marketing campaigns from both to see how America’s biggest businesses implement influencer marketing.
The National Retail Federation predicted that 86% of Americans would celebrate Mother’s Day this year, with the average person spending approximately $180. Divided by category, 35% of consumers planned to shop at department stores, 31% planned to shop online, and 29% planned to shop at a specialty store like a florist or jeweler.
Mother’s Day presents an opportunity for consumers of all ages to celebrate their mothers. The holiday also gives brands a chance to capitalize on purchases consumers might not normally make, whether on jewelry, flowers, or other specialty gifts. Female-centric brands and carriers of products specific to the holiday (flowers, jewelry, candy) are especially poised to take advantage.
Few American consumer goods conglomerates are as powerful as Procter & Gamble (P&G). In 2017 alone, the company generated $65.1 billion in net sales. To celebrate Mother’s Day, the corporation leveraged one of its female-facing brands, Herbal Essences, to execute a heartfelt marketing campaign celebrating expecting mothers exclusively.
Herbal Essences is a female hair care brand that champions a women’s connection to nature and the expression of an authentic self. On its website, the brand describes itself as, “…not about problems but the freedom to immerse yourself in nature and indulge in the thrill of letting go for a little moment of joy.” In keeping with its joyous identity, the brand celebrated Mother’s Day by launching its “Pregnant Woman Can” campaign.
The campaign celebrates expectant mothers unhindered by the opinions of others and doing things many consider to be inappropriate during pregnancy, such as lifting heavy objects or exercising in the same way.
To promote the campaign the brand hosted an exclusive event in New York City and partnered with upwards of 14 Instagram influencers, many of whom took to the platform to share their pregnancy experiences. Each influencer created one to two Herbal Essences sponsored Instagram posts. In addition, many used the branded hashtag #PregnantWomenCan to engage Instagram users and increase the discoverability of the campaign.
In partnering with influencers, the brand can provide tangible examples of what an Herbal Essences woman looks like and who its products are for. In the context of pregnant mothers, Herbal Essences reaffirmed its brand ethos that its hair products are for empowered, unabashed women of all types.
Mom blogger and Instagrammer Tiffany (@tiffany3366) was one of the campaigns top performers. The 28-year-old single mom posted one sponsored Instagram photo in which she holds her daughter Cora and two Herbal Essences’ hair care products.
Within the caption, she associates Herbal Essences with the empowering change in confidence she experienced during pregnancy by saying, “…I’ve been thinking about how much my life has improved since the moment I found out I was pregnant with Cora. I became this strong, more mature, and powerful woman in a blink of an eye.” In doing so, she shares a personal anecdote likely to resonate and connect with users and reaffirms Herbal Essences’ association with powerful women.
Secondarily, Herbal Essences’ decision to work with Tiffany, a single mom, frames the brand as inclusive of all women and unwillingly to abide by the stringent notion of the typical nuclear family. In partnering with Tiffany, the brand emphasizes that there are no strict rules regarding who can be a mother and in turn no strict notion of who Herbal Essences products are for.
Tiffany also calls upon users to participate in the campaign in saying, “Join @herbalessences and I in saying #PregnantWomenCan and comment below with all the things people said you couldn’t do while pregnant and how you proved them wrong.” This explicit call to action makes for a more memorable campaign. If users take the time to respond to the call-to-action within the comment section they’re much more likely to remember the campaign and choose Herbal Essences in the future.
Founded in 1979, The Wonderful Company reportedly generates more than $4 billion a year in total revenue. According to the company’s website, Teleflora, its oldest brand, is the world’s largest flower delivery service.
Herbal Essences is a brand whose products might not naturally bring to mind a Mother’s Day marketing campaign. Teleflora, on the other hand, is ready-made for Mother’s Day influencer marketing. To maximize on a holiday in which flowers are a staple, the brand partnered with influencers to execute a unique campaign centered on inclusiveness called, “Love Makes A Mom.”
The campaign showcases the tireless work of mothers who overcome adversity by highlighting the stories of four mothers via three video spots. One has a daughter with Down Syndrome, another is an army veteran serving as the mother figure of her younger sister, and three and four are a gay couple of color. The campaign has received significant press from AdWeek, Fortune, and others.
To promote the campaign the brand partnered with a cast of seven Instagram influencers. All but one are macro-influencers with over 100,000 followers and each posted one sponsored Instagram photo. Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz (@jazon_mraz) was the largest influencer involved with 1.3 million followers and ran a giveaway in which Instagram users could enter to win a $100 Teleflora gift card. Each of the influencers also used the unifying hashtags #LoveMakesAMom and #LoveOutLoud.
Similar to Herbal Essences, Teleflora’s Mother’s Day campaign serves to challenge traditional notions of motherhood. Instead of highlighting traditional household structures, the brand offers a more forward-thinking narrative in which a mother figure can be gay, a sister, etc.
In redefining what motherhood looks like both brands are effectively taking a stance and aligning themselves with consumers that hold similar political and social views. Studies have found this marketing tactic to be extremely effective. 87% of consumers report they’d purchase a brand based on values and 55% of Millennials report trying to buy products from companies that support causes that matter to them.
Mom blogger Sina Duvinage (@happygreylucky) was one of the campaign’s top performers. In partnership with Teleflora, she posted one sponsored Instagram photo that features her and her daughter Isabella with their faces hidden behind a Teleflora floral arrangement. The tendency to cover subjects’ faces with objects is a practice common in Duvinage’s other photos and as such she delivers sponsored content in a way her audience expects.
In the context of Teleflora’s larger Love Makes a Mom campaign Duvinage resembles a hardworking, career-oriented mother who works to provide for her family. She’s a particularly strong fit for the campaign because she creates content focused on motherhood and design. Her audience is therefore likely to appreciate a Mother’s Day gift and also the aesthetic appeal of Teleflora’s floral arrangements.
Duvinage adds to this effect by saying, “…@teleflora bouquet that is made by hand and delivered by hand (in a beautiful vase!) by a local florist.” By providing practical product information and appealing to the likely design-oriented tendency of her audience with phrases like “beautiful vase” she encourages bouquet purchases.