McCain turns the camera on moms

Who: McCain, with Rethink for strategy and creative; UM for media.

What: “Put Mom in the Picture,” a campaign inspired by the insight that moms are missing from most family photos because they are the ones taking the pictures. It’s the brand’s first major activation for one of the biggest marketing occasions of the year, and the team that created it was comprised primarily of women, including moms and moms t0 be.

When & Where: The campaign launched on May 8, and runs through Mother’s Day (May 14) across online video, social (Facebook, Instagram and TikTok), and connected TV. There are also social posts featuring Cat and Nat (whose stated mission is to “rewrite the paradigm of the perfect mom”), and Canadian actor and former Beverly Hills 90210 star Jason Priestly.

Why: It’s a brand equity play with a focus on reach, engagement, and building an emotional connection with a key target audience, said Laura Kennedy, senior brand manager at McCain.

“[A]s a company, we see the importance of building an emotional connection with our consumers and we want to be a part of the special moments in their lives, whether they’re big or small,” she said.

“Togetherness” is a key brand attribute for McCain, and the bond between moms and their families is the perfect embodiment of that characteristic, said Kennedy. “Moms are often the unspoken heartbeat of a family, and the glue that brings it together… We wanted to recognize them for the important work they do.”

While McCain hasn’t historically been active around Mother’s Day outside of social posting, the brand saw what Kennedy described as a “natural fit with a culturally relevant moment.”

How:  The creative is based on the insight that moms are often the least-photographed family member, since they are so often a family’s official record keeper.

According to a recent survey conducted for McCain by Angus Reid, 84% of moms said that they are usually the person taking the pictures during family time. More than three-quarters (77%) of moms said they appear in less than half of the family photos on their camera rolls, with 35% saying they’re in no photos at all.

Armed with that data, the brand enlisted four moms with different stories—multiple children, multi-generational families etc.—and then commissioned award-winning photojournalist Krisanne Johnson to spend half a day with each mom and her family, capturing candid shots of their interactions.

McCain then created large portraits of the moms and their family, and surprised them during a gallery visit. “We got overwhelming responses and emotional reactions from them, because they got to themselves in a way their family sees them everyday,” said Kennedy.

And we quote: “Our goal was to help McCain cut through the clutter this Mother’s Day and connect with moms in a fresh and relatable way. We knew countless moms would see themselves reflected in the stories, and nod their heads as they considered their own family’s photos.” — Leia Rogers, executive creative director, national managing partner, Rethink

Chris Powell