Gen X Mums Reject Westfield’s New Advertising


Gen X Mums Reject Westfield’s New Advertising

Westfield Shopping Centres have recently launched a new social campaign aimed at Australia’s most powerful consumer, mums.

They wanted to do away with common stereotypes and make them feel celebrated and supported. But something has gone awry. Gen X mothers, aged over 38 years, feel a strong disconnect between Westfield’s advertising and their reality.

What did mums think about Westfield’s new campaign?

The Westfield campaign had all the hallmarks of producing an excellent connection with mums. It had several mothers working on the campaign, and they actively worked to avoid the biggest mistake brands make when advertising to mothers; stereotyping.

We invited mothers to comment on the Westfield’s latest campaign featuring mothers. Unfortunately, Westfield’s new campaign has repelled the very women it wishes to attract to its shopping centres. They felt disengaged, disconnected and old. Here’s what mums had to say:

OMG – what planet are they living on? I want to move there and look like I’m 25 but with teenagers who are really nicely dressed and very clean and play soccer without getting grass stains all over their pants which never, ever come out even with bleach, and did I mention how amazing I look and so, so young and rich and I eat really, really good food at parties where all my friends are really young and beautiful too.

It’s got a happy and free vibe. But I’m not sure if this is the thing now. I think mums can relate more to the overworked and in need of a break vibe. All the best clips and ads of mums are the ones who are real about the struggles of motherhood but can show the love and humour of their crazy lives.

Weird. I don’t relate to that at all. There’s no screaming, swearing, tears or snot. It all looks a bit too sophisticated and grown up for me. For example, I am currently lying on the couch in my trackies exhausted after morning activities trying to psych myself up for kinder duty. Lia’s on the couch with me, watching play school in her undies eating a jam sandwich.

Lol, I’m obviously not their priority. Life looks a little too clean, a little too perfect and I don’t think mums will appreciate it. I get what they are trying to do, and it’s awesome they want to target mums considering we are the ones there the most but none of the mums I know are like that. I think they missed the mark.

Other than having a few kids in it, I wouldn’t have picked it as being targeted at mums – it’s more than a little too ‘Instagram’ shiny to be relatable.

So, I got muddled with who was the mother, and who was the child ….:

What do Mums really want from shopping centres?

In 2017 we surveyed more than 1,800 Australian mums and found that 63% feel that advertisers don’t understand them. There is a sizable financial opportunity for shopping centres who can get this right.

Mums still want more reality in brand communications and less of an aspirational focus. As one mum said:

Surely an advert that has us arriving and getting a car park in a blink of the eye, a coffee without queuing and whizzing around getting all our shopping done in under an hour so we can get our busy arses out of there and back home in time to take our kids to their next activity and cook a nutritious meal that maybe 1 of the 3 kids will eat would be more appealing?

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