This month of May, we celebrate the bittersweet yet meaningful journey of Filipino mothers. Various sectors of society are gloriously one with moms in their journey embellished with hopes, uncertainties and pure joy on this special occasion.
Businesses recognize this family affair as an opportunity to connect with their customers by tapping overpowering maternal emotions. After all, the Philippines is named as “one of the most emotional countries in world” based on a recent Gallup study. A lot of brands utilize warm and heartfelt messages that tap into Filipino mothers’ deep-seated aspirations for their children and family. The feelings that some hard-hitting marketing promotions evoke cause moms to shed a tear, leading some of them to the shopping aisles.
Emotions can benefit brand-building initiatives. According to Georgetown University professors Michael Czinkota and Charles Skuba, “the best brands inspire and capture positive, if not joyful, emotion in their customers. Marketers know that emotion often trumps reason in purchase decisions.” Indeed, Mothers’ Day serves as a suitable opportunity for brands to celebrate the overwhelming inspiration that our mothers had been radiating to their families.
Emotions move us to greater aspirations, to higher spirits and to deeper connections. Emotions may cause pain and propel risks. Emotions instill memories of happiness, nostalgia and euphoria at times when we ache for a bucket of sunshine. Emotions drive our authentic human nature in a world promoting artificiality, pretense and monotony.
An emotion is also a powerful business instrument. It can urge moms to purchase more than what is needed in the household. It may also urge moms to choose the more expensive option when presented with a branded offer. A manufactured perception through aggressive marketing initiatives may make moms believe that commercial transactions can solve their self-doubts, fears and insecurities instead of relying on their innate nurturing abilities. Sometimes, moms are made to believe that a purchase is a sufficient validation of her love and care.
But there are things in life that money cannot buy or a marketer cannot solve. The unconditional compassion and immeasurable love of a mother for her children and family cannot be matched by a branded purchase in-store. We, however, had been conditioned by creative advertising to believe that the latter is a magic potion.
I grew up in a household where emotions are abundantly felt and expressed without shame. A beautiful woman whom I aspire to be like raised me. My mother Lulu’s mere presence replenishes my depleted emotional tank every now and then. For me, her humanity is more than enough to remind me that I am loved unconditionally and a purchase or material possession is not necessary. I will be forever grateful to my mother. I love you, Mommy Lulu!
Ireene Leoncio is an aspiring global citizen who was born and raised in Manila. She is a faculty member of the Marketing and Advertising Department of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business of De La Salle University (DLSU). Leoncio earned her master’s degree in Washington, D.C., and is an incoming PhD Marketing Research student in the United Kingdom. She has worked for multinational companies managing global brands in Manila, New York City and the San Francisco Bay area. The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty and its administrators.