Mother’s Day is certainly a large holiday as far as marketing is concerned but, believe it or not, it was not invented by retailers. In fact, Mother’s Day celebrations have been going on in one form or another, for a very long time. One of the earliest celebrations (that we know of) was the annual spring festival in ancient Greece that was dedicated to Rhea, mother to many deities. The ancient Romans had a holiday that was dedicated to Juno during which mothers usually received gifts. Europe has had a number of long standing traditions where a specific Sunday was set aside to honor mothers such as Mothering Sunday.
Mother’s Day in the United States started nearly 150 years ago when Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day she called “Mother’s Work Day.” The day was to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community, and she believed that mothers would be the best advocates.1 When Anna Jarvis died, her daughter, also named Anna, took over and began a campaign to memorialize her mother’s work. “Legend has it that young Anna remembered a Sunday school lesson that her mother gave in which she said, ‘I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother’s day. There are many days for men, but none for mothers.'”1 Anna lobbied to create a special day to honor mothers and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday.
Inspiring Mother’s Day Marketing
Mother’s are inspirational so your marketing should be also. We’ve all seen a lot of the standard Mother’s Day marketing – enough to be a little numb to it. So, to help inspire your thinking, here are a few outside-the-box ideas that might help you ratchet up your own Mother’s Day marketing.
- Dine & Design Gift Certificate2
The “Dine & Design” gift certificate entitles the recipient to a gourmet, three-course meal with wine choice, along with an introductory floral design class, including fresh flowers and a beautiful vase.
- Storybook Mother’s Day Contest3
Children (of any age) enter a story, including drawings and photos, if desired, telling what makes their mom special to them and the community. Winners receive jewelry and gourmet chocolate personally delivered to winning Moms.
- For Moms who Tweet
How about setting up a Twitter treasure hunt for moms, complete with Tweet clues and points earned along the way? And then give some grand prize options and let her pick out the one she really wants. (And while you’re at it, don’t forget to announce to the world via Twitter what your mom means to you!).
- For Business Moms
If you have products or services that blend well with businesses, create a “Mom Entrepreneur Kit” by bundling some or your items and services together and adding a nice discount. (And if you wanted to add custom business cards or business greeting cards to the bundle you could have them printed at Next Day Flyers).
If you market beyond the United States don’t forget that Mother’s Day is global. To help you out, here are some Mother’s Day celebration dates in different parts of the world:4
- Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey: Second Sunday in the month of May.
- United Kingdom/England: Mothering Sunday, fourth Sunday in Lent.
- France: First Sunday in June or last Sunday in May
- Much of South America (as well as Mexico), Bahrain, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United – Arab Emirates: May 10
- Albania: March 8
- Russia: November 28
- Poland: May 26
- Indonesia: December 22
- Egypt: March 21
- Norway: February 13
- Thailand: Birthday of Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara – August 12
- Sweden: Last Sunday in May
- Lebanon: First day of Spring
- Norway: The second Sunday in February
- Austria, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Taiwan, Hungary, Portugal, South Africa, Spain: First Sunday in May
- Belgium, Costa Rica: Assumption day, August 15
- Argentina: The Día de la Madre, The second or third Sunday in October
Happy Mother’s Day!
- Mother’s Day History
- Pasha’s Restaurants and Kitanim Flowers join forces for a mother’s day special event.
- Mother’s Day Jewelry Marketing
- When is Mother’s Day