There are reportedly 4 million mom bloggers in the U.S. — passionate, increasingly influential women constantly communicating through social media.
BlogHer co-founder and COO Elisa Camahort Page, whose website draws 37 million unique visitors monthly, advises marketers to identify "focused mom blogs that share your passion—food, pets, child care, fitness, tech, whatever." One caveat, she adds: "Mom bloggers are ruthless. The Silicon Valley adage, ‘Release early, fix later,' won't fly with moms. They have no patience for beta products or websites, and they don't give out second chances."
But they are one of the golden cohort sweet spots, and Mother’s Day is one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions of the year. Celebrations of motherhood date back to ancient festivals such as the Christian Mothering Sunday, the Roman festival of Hilaria, and the Greek cult to Cybele, but the modern U.S. holiday dates back to 1908 and Anna Jarvis’s memorial for her mother.
Jarvis campaigned to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday, but six years after seeing the day established in 1914, she was bitterly disappointed at the commercialization that surrounded it. She spent the rest of her life and her money protesting against what the holiday had become, personified by printed greeting card sentiment:
“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.”
Nowadays, forget printed greetings. Moms themselves have seized the tools of the digital world and are strutting their personal brands on an ever expanding canvas as Mother’s Day 2012 approaches. In fact, some high-profile celebrities, led by Christy Turlington Burns, are lobbying against Mother's Day this year. The former supermodel's Every Mother Counts campaign is asking moms to join forces in observance of “No Mother’s Day.”
Her goal is to raise awareness about the 360,000 women who die each year from pregnancy or childbirth-related problems, and she wants moms to spend this Mother’s Day in silence, “no phone calls, no gifts, no Facebook, no fanfare from family,” supporting the core message of “how much a mother is missed when she is gone.”
The video featuring Jennifer Connelly, Blythe Danner, Debra Messing, Ann Curry and uber-mom blogger Heather Armstrong (aka Dooce), has garnered 17,000 hits on YouTube and 70,000 views, but also raised some ire: “There must be a better way to raise awareness. Asking me to disappear on Mother’s Day punishes me and my family.” And confusion: “I applaud Turlington Burns for trying to help at-risk women – I really do – but I get the impression most people have no clue what she’s on about (my own mother – a very smart woman – called me this morning to tell me she read an article about it in the paper but that she didn’t “get” it),” writes mom blogger, Shawn Cohen.
Undaunted, Turlington Burns, argues, “I am woman first, then a mom, than an advocate, a sister, a daughter. I don’t presume everyone is thinking about these issues like I am.”
Some new research backs up her stance against Mother's Day. A new DDB Life Style Study survey reveals that Mother's Day is not most mother’s favorite holiday: “Only 2% of moms cite Mother's Day as their favorite holiday. Sixty-one percent of moms cite Christmas as their favorite, and Thanksgiving is next for 21% of moms.”
Turlington Burns also teamed with Lyric Culture and 1Love to design a limited edition scarf and cotton t-shirt featuring Bob Marley lyrics, “Get Up, Stand Up” handwritten by Turlington and Marley’s daughter Cedella, with a portion of proceeds donated to Every Mother Counts.
Another celebrity is using Mother's Day weekend to recast her personal brand as a digtal brand and create an online community for other women. Now moving off Wisteria Lane with the other Desperate Housewives, Felicity Huffman is launching a website called What the Flicka?
“Saying goodbye is tough, so let’s not do it! After eight years of Desperate Housewives, I’ve started a website where we can all continue to connect, laugh, cry, complain and share warmth, love and good advice,” Huffman tells People.
Moms who are active on social media and blogging are constantly being wooed to put their seal of approval on what's new and happending from marketers. (Look at the press release for a new movie, Mighty Fine, which touts a test screening with more than 100 bloggers in the Mom Central network.)
H&R Block released this infographic taking the pulse of moms and social media:
And don't miss Nielsen's blog post and infographic on the digital lfe of the American mom: