Following our popular post on funny Valentines from e-tailers, we decided to take a look at the Mother’s Day messages that have been filling our inbox over the last couple of weeks – with a focus on the plusher department stores.
Sober, sumptuous and really rather sensible: Fortnum & Mason’s
We begin our round-up with the campaign by Fortnum & Mason’s, which as you can see below started with a nice scene-setter email (‘Celebrating Mothering Sunday & Easter’) followed by a more urgent/pushy reminder (‘Hurry, order Mothering Sunday Gifts by Thursday 15th March’). These emails are good to look at, and the tone of voice (as well as the design) score marks for consistency. There’s something stuffy & almost clunky in the language that means it won’t appeal to everyone – but since this is a brand whose email subscription list may include HRH The Queen (or maybe not), we reckon that’s a rather sensible approach. Could perhaps do with a little refinement, however (sample copy: ‘To thank your mother properly, you need something stylish, original and very luxurious. Fortunately, everything in our Mothering Sunday collection matches that description, so just make your choice and your task is complete.’)
OUR RATING: 7/10
Bold, direct and bursting with colour: Selfridges & Co
How does a fashion-forward department store such as Selfridges avoid going all gooey and sentimental around Mother’s Day? A large but subtle dose of irony helps – as does a well thought-out mini-campaign with a strong, on-brand identity. ‘Mum in a Million’ may sound like the kind of cheesy slogan you’ll see on a cheap mug, but combined with this confident, colour-burst design; some lively, chatty copy that name-checks Prada and the Real Flower Company; and the familiar Selfridges email format, the overall effect is really rather fun and warming, while retaining the brand’s premium feel.
The ‘Mum in a Million’ ident has re-appeared in succeeding emails as a cute badge. This serves as a clickable CTA countdown & reminder of the campaign, without intruding on the flow of the key messages in these non-mother’s day emails (The Beauty Hotlist, Shop New Arrivals). One might argue that another Mother’s Day specific email would help consolidate the campaign but with so many regular messages scheduled by Selfridges e-marketers, one can see sense in the decision not to overload customer inboxes (having said that, I expect another to arrive before the weekend…) 9/10
Something for everyone, but what about Mum?: Harrods
Perhaps we’ve missed some mailings, but as far as we can tell from our inbox, the only pre-Mother’s Day customer communication from Harrods, titled ‘Something for Everyone’, introduces a range of treats ‘to help spoil your loved ones’. Surely, in the week before Mother’s Day, this rather ignores the best practice rule of a single, simple, focused message – especially since specific mention of Mother’s Day gifting is delayed until after some other generic Hello Kitty & classic Harrods hamper messaging. 5/10
Totally simple, totally cool, totally relevant: Liberty
The ever-cool Liberty takes a rather laid-back approach in presenting it’s Mother’s Day offerings, but manages to get the message and the content pretty much spot on, in our view. The headline copy (KEEP CALM AND TREAT MUM) offers a new twist on the trend for Blitz-spirit coffee-mug slogans such as ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, backed by a retro mum & baby photo. Note, they don’t bother with sales-y intro text, which is brave but refreshing – we all know what Mother’s Day means, don’t we? – but do follow through on the click-through page with companion message/visual (KEEP CALM AND CALL MUM), which works rather nicely. What Liberty has done very well is think through the whole content package in this email: there are lots of options, including a very clickable Bruce Oldfield interview/competition link, followed by an equally appealing complimentary facial offer, special Mother’s Day bouquet, another comp to win tickets to the Duchess of Malfi at The Old Vic… etc. Simple, focused, compelling. 9.5/10