In ads, moms are always right

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In ads, moms are always right

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A McDonald’s advertisement shows interviews with mothers asking what ingredients are included in the foods and if the seasonings are natural or made from chemicals.

Mothers know best.

Aleast that’s the underlying theme of a number of marketing campaigns.

As the economy wobbles along, many companies are eschewing standard pitches to consumers involving celebrities or dynamic packaging. They think a mother’s touch is most effective.

“In a time of economic worry and a downturn in consumption, sentiments that appeal to the emotions, such as family or mother, are used a lot,” said a food industry source. “In fact, many products used the motherhood angle during the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008.”

A TV ad for mobile carrier LG U+ titled “The Great Mother” tells the story of a mother who cannot leave her disabled child even for a moment.

In the ad, the mother’s mobile phone is not just a means of communication, but a force to protect the child and the family.

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An advertisement for a drink with the message that mothers are always wondering if their children are buying food and drinking products that are good for them when they’re away from home.

The only way for the mother to communicate with the world while also taking care of her child is through her mobile phone.

Since the ad has been running, the number of subscribers to unlimited data plans at LG U+ surged to 463,000 last month from 98,000 at the end of May, according to LG U+.

For emphasizing quality, mothers are ideal.

When the food company Chungjungone released a beverage called Red Vinegar Balance Water, it used the catchphrase, “Mom is watching.”

That evoked the idea that mothers are always worried about their children’s eating habits outside the home. Mother would approve of Red Vinegar Balance Water, the ad suggested.

Chungjungone later attracted the attention of consumers by holding a street performance with publicity agents dressed up as mothers as part of its marketing campaign.

Motherhood is also invoked when companies attempt to change images of their products.

McDonald’s Korea is rolling out a campaign dubbed “Mothers are surprised,” which is supposed to highlight the quality of its foods and their ingredients.

The campaign grafts the prudence and safety concerns of mothers into the existing image of McDonald’s, which is fast, cheap food. It is also intended to diminish the perception that fast food is junk food.

The company is spreading its “Mothers are surprised” campaign through local cooking bloggers to make it even more effective.

A video clip for the campaign is also gaining popularity. On YouTube, its views exceeded 300,000 in a month.

“A survey showed that there were many consumers who had a negative image of our food,” said a spokesman for McDonalds. “By using the image of motherhood, we plan to promote the reliability of our products.”

Even with financial products, mothers can sway consumers.

Hanwhalife Insurance introduced a Mom-to-Mom Children’s Insurance campaign in April.

The Mom-to-Mom video shows mothers watching their children grow, nursing them through sicknesses and moving into adulthood.

Thanks to the campaign, approximately 25,000 policies were sold in two months. The video had 100,000 views in a week.

Marketing analysts say that in order to invoke mothers in campaigns, it’s best to ask advice from, well, mothers.

Pulmuone recruited housewives for a Pulmuone Housewives Monitor, who will suggest ideas for product development.

They selected 12 housewife “monitor agents,” who will actively comment on overall marketing of Pulmuone products at meetings twice a month for six months at company headquarters, rating new products, doing market research and suggesting ideas for new products.

CJ Group is actually hiring mothers after introducing the CJ Returnship Program to support the re-employment of women.

And former housewife employees in the CJ Group will participate in the recruiting process to give practical advice to newly employed mothers.

CJ Group plans to hire a total of 150 mothers through the program. Anyone whose career has been disrupted for more than two years due to marriage or childbirth can apply without restrictions on age and education.

Lotte Confectionery is promoting its cookie brand Margaret with a “Mom, where are you going?” experience in which 20 mothers and children traveled together for two days and made Margaret cookies in a cooking class. The mothers learned the brand was wholesome for their children.

BY LEE SU-KI, KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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