Advertisers Compete For Mother's Day Love

Consumers are not shy when it comes to spending on the women in their lives, so it’s no surprise that Mother’s Day ranks third in consumer spend among retail holidays, just behind Christmas and Back-to-School. Shoppers shell out approximately $20 billion on gifts for mom each year according to the NRF, and advertisers are all competing for their piece of the pie.

In the five weeks leading up to the holiday in 2014, an estimated $132 million was spent on advertising with Mother’s Day themed messaging. This spend was mostly driven by retail advertisers, who spent approximately $66 million on advertising for the holiday from 4/7/2014 - 5/11/2014 – far more than any other category. The bulk of this was from department stores, which totaled $36 million. JC Penney led the pack, spending $16 million on promoting its wide range of gifts for mom.


Surprisingly, next in line were wireless telecom providers with $27 million in spend. The category was pushed into second place by Verizon, the highest spending advertiser overall for Mother’s Day. Verizon saw a major shift in ad spend when compared to the same time period the previous year. In 2013, it spent less than $1 million on Mother’s Day messaging. In 2014, the budget increased considerably to $25 million, a majority of which went to promote the message that smartphones and tablets trump flowers.


While wireless gadgets may last longer than flowers, Mother’s Day wouldn’t be complete without them, and naturally florists round out the top three categories. The majority of the $17 million spend came from Pro Flowers and 1-800-Flowers, who spent approximately $10 million and $5 million respectively. The two leading florists both promoted holiday specials and savings on flowers.

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Kantar Media provides critical information that helps our clients make better decisions about communications. We enable the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies to navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. Our services and data include analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media; and evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. As the global house of expertise in media and marketing information, Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights, from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behavior and digital insights, marketing and advertising effectiveness to social media monitoring. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking over 4 million brands in 50 countries.

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Our analysis of Mother's Day ad trends is based on our AdScope monitoring of the multimedia marketplace. Our scope extends beyond holidays, so if you would like to know more about how a particular category, brand, or messaging is faring across the entire media mix, we can provide actionable insights based on our broad range of solutions.

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