Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Lessons from SBXXXV & VW about Moms

Most of the folks I spoke with (male & female) liked this ad.

Mediapost tells us why:

What We Learned From VW's Super Bowl Success

If you were one of the millions watching last Sunday's Super Bowl, you probably saw the ad from Volkswagen that showcased a pint-sized Darth Vader using "The Force" on the new 2012 Passat. While Volkswagen was one of several automakers stepping back into the Super Bowl ad game, it was the only one that created a campaign that resonated with a key consumer demographic: Moms.

Yes, we have all read the research that shows a large percentage of Super Bowl viewers are women, but this sporting spectacle has also become one of the biggest family events of the year -- meaning many of those women are also moms. "More automotive advertisers should take the VW higher road on Super Bowl advertising as it sends a message that women and families are important viewers," says Jody DeVere, CEO of

Even if your brand failed to make an appearance during the 2011 Super Bowl, there are several key marketing-to-mom lessons we can all learn from Volkswagen's success:

Focus on Family. Yes, resonating with mom is a key component to any marketing-to-mom strategy, but if your brand can create a spot that resonates with mom, dad and kids -- you've hit the marketing-to-mom trifecta. Developing a campaign with universal family appeal does more than just bring dads (and kids and even grandparents) into the conversation, it actually gives mom the opportunity to use your campaign as a way to connect with her own family.

Tell an Emotional Story. The VW ad resonates with moms "because of the whimsical and heart-touching emotional story it tells," says DeVere, and that goes a long way with mom consumers. "Commercials like this warm the heart, and allow women to view your brand as smart, savvy and family/mom-friendly."

Appeal to "Shared Experiences." Not only do moms have shared parenting experiences, but they also have shared generational experiences -- and there are moments when those two worlds collide. What mom hasn't watched her own children run around in super hero costumes and princess crowns and not been reminded of her own childhood experience of pretending to be Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia? That is powerful messaging that transcends beyond parenthood.

Does all this really work? It appears to be working for Volkswagen. Even before the first second of this commercial made its way to the TV screens of households throughout the U.S., the spot had gone viral -- with some estimations showing it garnered close to 8 million views before kick-off and continues to grow its viewership even after the final field goal.

It even made its way onto the top of almost every single Super Bowl ad review list, leaving Ryan Rudnansky, featured columnist for Bleacher Report, to state, "The ad is not only ingenious in setting up things for the car at the climax, but also strikes a nerve (or a funny bone) with the general public, something all great ads do."

Especially ads that win with moms.

Patti Minglin is a marketing consultant specializing in marketing to moms and a freelance writer who regularly contributes to numerous regional parenting magazines including "Chicago Parent." Follow her on Twitter (@PattiMinglin).

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