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Winnie Pua

Campaign critique: Mums vs maids

Over-thinking is trademark of a brand strategist.

A recent campaign had me thinking, “What went wrong?”. It advises mothers to give their domestic helpers their days off and spend more time knowing their own children instead. This recent Mums vs. Maids campaign, commissioned by The Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) set tongues wagging. Some mothers feel that they have been shamed.

AWARE is unhappy that fathers are not deemed responsible for knowing their child, TWC2 defended that truth can sometimes be uncomfortable.

My diagnosis: This is based on an insight that does not resonate. The agency responsible shared that the insight is that mums do not want to miss out on children’s lives and hence highlighting how they are missing out by not giving their domestic helpers a day off will motivate them to behave otherwise.

I know of mums who feel that they can spend more time with their children if their domestic helpers can help with household chores and even the cooking for large family gatherings during the weekends. From what I observe, most mothers (and fathers) will want to spend time with children and family whenever possible.

Another perspective can be asking why the employer feels he or she requires domestic help on this supposed off day? And what can motivate them to consider otherwise? As a mum, I try to spend as much time with my little girl. Knowing that my helper understands how I want to raise my child and extend quality care when I am not around are important. A possible key insight to motivate parents can be that “A well-rested, well-socialised helper can better care for your children”. How this is expressed, whether building on my fear of child abuse, neglect or showing benefits of consistent behaviour between mums and maids, could then be developed.

Insights are often developed through observation, interviews and other forms of research. Good marketers know a good one when they hear it. That eureka! moment lets you know there is something you can build on. What are some of your thoughts on possible insights that can motivate parents to evolve their thinking and adjust their behaviour?