NEWS1 March 2016

Stereotypical images alienate new mums

News Trends UK

UK – Brands are failing to depict and engage with pregnant women and new mothers in a realistic way, according to research from the BabyCentre.

Mother and baby_crop

Just 14% of new mothers and 26% of pregnant women think the way the audience groups they are part of are depicted by brands is realistic.

‘Mind the Gap: the Disconnect between Mums and Marketers’ is the latest report from BabyCentre’s annual research for marketers involving more than 1,000 women who are either pregnant of new mothers.

The disconnect between advertising images and real-life for this group is significant; so while pregnant women are most likely to identify with being emotional, anxious or uncomfortable, they see brands as most likely to portray them as beautiful, glowing and healthy.

Similarly while mums are most likely to describe themselves as busy, loving and emotional, they think brands most commonly portray themselves as beautiful, confident and glowing.

Julie Michaelson, BabyCentre head of global sales said: “It’s an immediate turn off for pregnant women and mums if brands don’t get them or try to understand their lives. Looking at the size of this disconnect shows it’s not just a small gap – the figures are way off. Brands risk alienating the very people they’re trying to reach because mums feel their communication lacks truth.” 

As brand marketing lacks authenticity, peer advice takes over. Nine in 10 expectant mums ( 91%) say online reviews of products are influential, and the single thing they value most in a review or recommendation is if they know it came from another parent ( 85% agree). 7

When asked what brands can do to help first-time mums prepare for motherhood, the most popular options were to feature mum reviews (desired by 52%) and to show real life scenarios ( 56%). In comparison, recommendations from experts were only deemed helpful by 20%. Brands’ websites and magazines were rated low down the list of sources of information that give mums most confidence (selected by just 6%).