Mother knows best…about advertising

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I admit: my social media feeds are littered with picture after picture of my 19-month-old daughter. If Instagram, Facebook and Twitter et al are supposed to reflect our lives, views, musings etc. then that’s me; I won’t apologise for it!

While my ‘friends’ must endure the daily exploits of my first born, I’d certainly never class myself as a ‘professional mum’ – in my view, a new breed of women who are parading their families on social media in a desperate search for freebies and a book deal. Am I being cynical? Perhaps. You might even say that I’m a poor loser for not seizing the opportunity to jump on the ‘mummy bandwagon’ and make the most of a thriving market!

I’ll admit that some of the original members do it well. However, the vast majority are blatantly using motherhood as a pass to stardom. Since time immemorial, women have been raising children. When and why did it become such a commodity?

So, with such intolerance for the glisten and glamour of professional mums, you’d think I’d be the perfect audience for the new Dove advert.

The two-minute long film is supposed to encourage mums to use their unique personalities and circumstances to inspire how they raise their children. The personal care brand apparently wants to “shatter stereotypes about motherhood”, by featuring different kinds of women with their children. This includes a transgender woman, Shea, and her partner, who says: “there’s no right way to do it all”. The advert also stars a single mother, a mum on a ranch (it’s American) and another who likes to rock climb. Here comes the inspirational bit: “trust yourself [and] be the best version of yourself”…!

I get it; mothers come in all shapes and sizes and the sentiment of this advert certainly rings true. I constantly question whether ‘my way’ is the right way; I’m forever wondering if the best version of me is good enough for my little girl. So why am I not inspired by Dove’s homage to mothers? Surely I should be rushing out to bulk buy their shower gel, while trying to control a sudden urge to be part of their rousing motherhood movement. Have the professional mums made me so cynical that I’m now immune to the love and hug-inducing nature of this advert? Thankfully not. I will forever be inspired by ‘real mums’. By that I mean those in my family and my friendship group – my mummy friends who were my saviours at 3am while the rest of the world seemed to be sleeping. I get that Dove is trying to align with its audience; I understand that it’s attempting to connect with all mothers; I even see why it’s trying to create content that will supposedly stick in the memory. But, if I’m honest, I’m tired of this sort of trite sentimentality. To me, it’s just another attempt to disguise a sales tactic as a genuine hand-holding moment. I’m much more simplistic – give me a cheesy soundtrack and a performing animal any day. Crikey, I nearly shed a tear at the virtual reality-flying ostrich that’s spearheading Samsung’s #DoWhatYouCant campaign.  Much more my style!

So, if you’re browsing through my Instagram feed this weekend, expect to see my daughter donning a Gear VR headset… Dove, be warned: we’re a strictly Radox family!

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