Moms talk about their child’s ad career: ‘Pretty pictures’ and ‘lots of client dinners’

Several years ago, a marketing professional who was then at the apex of their career, regarded as one of the industry’s brightest minds and leading the Canadian division of a global agency, confided in me: “My mom still has no idea what I do for a living.”

It’s not an entirely uncommon sentiment amongst the moms of ad people. In fact, it’s the basis of a new Mother’s Day-themed video from Toronto agency Blackjet called “Moms on Advertising.” The 90-second video features interviews with the moms of several Blackjet employees, in which they candidly—and humorously—answer questions about what their child does for a living.

“I think that my daughter’s job focuses on managing time,” says one mom. “Does a lot of artwork,” says another with a laugh. “Puts it all together and makes pretty pictures.” Another mom, meanwhile, says that her daughter’s role as VP of client services involves “lots of client dinners.”

The video stemmed from a boardroom discussion during which employees admitted their moms really didn’t know what they did all day.

“We giggled about that, but it seemed to be kind of a common insight among everybody in the industry,” said Blackjet CEO Rob Galletta. “It evolved into this idea where we would probe moms about how they felt about the work we do and what they knew about it.”

The moms were also asked for their opinion on advertising, which weren’t exactly favourable. “I actually don’t watch any ads,” says one. “I hate ads,” says another, while another expresses her frustration at seeing the same ad “over and over and over again.”

“It was nice and also humbling for those of us who think our jobs are so very serious to hear it described by our mothers, who take us down a notch and remind us that the work we do isn’t world-changing in any way,” said Galletta. “It’s so funny to hear, because the vast majority don’t like ads and were trying to speak positively because their kid works in the industry.

“We take it so seriously, but for them it just gets in the way of their entertainment.”

Blackjet is sharing the video on its social channels and sending it to clients ahead of Mother’s Day. The agency also rewarded the moms who participated in the video shoot with portraits of them and their child, shot by renowned photographer Kyle Topping.

Chris Powell