Marketing to Parents: How to connect imperfection with empathy

Recent FoodThink data found that 78% of parents agree that it is important for the whole family to be together at meals, and 58% of parents shared that they feel guilty when they can’t cook for their family.

In the past, brands have touted their own aspirational marketing messages in an attempt to motivate parents along the way to perfection, but Millennial parents seem to desire a different approach. So, how can marketers today help parents and families cope with the pressure to be perfect?

Kraft’s New Message: Marketing with Empathy

In a new video titled “Family Greatly,” Kraft puts a spotlight on the guilt that so many parents struggle with. “Everybody wants to be the best parent,” admits one mom in the video. “Everybody wants to raise a perfect kid.”

The video features interviews with parents and children who share the difficulties and joys experienced by most families, and shows that parents don’t have to be perfect to be a hero to their children.

According to FoodThink data, many moms and dads are preparing boxed meal helpers more than once a month, and through its thoughtful content, Kraft is helping to lessen the feelings of guilt that this audience might be experiencing by sharing an empathetic marketing message.

“There’s no one perfect way to family,” says Anne Field, director of brand building for Kraft. “As long as you’re doing it with love and conviction, we support how you family.”

Kraft will bring its family of products together under this new message by unifying the look and feel of all Kraft brand product packaging. Real families will be featured in lieu of actors in new Kraft TV spots, and Kraft will use its own parent-employees as community managers to respond to real-life stories shared by audiences on social media.

Kraft’s Cursing Campaign: How to Celebrate Imperfect Parenting

This isn’t the first time Kraft gave a nod to the difficulties of parenthood.

For Mother’s Day this year, the brand launched the #SwearLikeAMother campaign and video, partnering with Melissa Mohr, author of “Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing.” The video nodded at Kraft Mac & Cheese’s independent survey of 1,000 Millennial parents in which they found that 74% of moms have dropped the f-bomb in front of their children.

“It was launched all around the insight of celebration of perfectly imperfect parenting,” said Rachel Drof, marketing director for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

Yoplait’s #MomOn Campaign: Parents Should Do What Feels Right

Other brands have used insights like these to develop creative marketing that leans into the idea that there are many ways to be a good parent. Yoplait released videos earlier this year for its #MomOn campaign, encouraging moms to just “Do what tastes right.”

Yoplait’s videos portray moms staying at home, breastfeeding in public and wearing yoga pants to lunch. The videos speak to the sentiment that many mothers share: Parenting isn’t easy, and no one should judge.

Marketing to Parents with a Fresh Perspective

Brands like Kraft and Yoplait are recognizing that parents are looking for quick, healthy options they can feel good about. Developing high-quality, timesaving food options that simplify healthy eating and bring the family together can increase a brand’s favor with the parenting audience. Brands can also join the conversation around honest parenting and be more realistic in their portrayal of parents and families.

To learn more about how marketers can help parents feed their families guiltlessly, download our latest white paper, The Parent Trap: How Parental Time Constraints Prevent Healthy Lifestyles.

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