Make her laugh and she just might pee

For Mother's Day, KBS+'s Lyranda Martin-Evans tackles humour and millennial moms.


By Lyranda Martin-Evans

Before I had a kid, I thought when I became a mother my love of comedy would get cut with the umbilical cord and everything would suddenly get super serious. Working in advertising makes you look at moms differently. As a writer, pre-baby, I came up with a lot of ideas around drama in the laundry room. Not facetiously.

I get it. Being a mom is serious business. You have to raise a human being. You have to feed it and clothe it and get it into toddler yoga classes and have it not die and also don’t call it “it” –  it is a child. Remember to call it a child.

In order to bond with me as a “head of household sweet spot” target so I’ll buy your product even though it’s more expensive and I have to drive further with a screaming newborn to get it, you need to connect with me on an emotional level.

Getting me to cry is the low-hanging fruit. Everything makes me cry now. Just thinking about P&G’s Olympic “Thank You Mom” spot makes weep. The new Kraft Peanut Butter “Stick Together” spot choked me up at my desk at work. Ugh, I’m that person now. What I’d love is for you to brighten my day and make me laugh.

Comedy needs a victim, and some marketers worry they can’t make it mom. Mom is a saint! So this often means the joke has to be at dad’s expense. Poor balding, slightly chubby, moronic dad. He gets cast in everything, and still can’t figure out basic life skills, like a toaster. (Why is she married to this dude?)

Moms have given birth; half of us now pee when we sneeze. It’s a comedy gold mine. The millennial mom can take a joke. They will laugh about how they ripped from tip to tail, openly. Thanks to social media and the brutal over-share of a generation, social mores on motherhood have broken down. And it’s a good thing, unless you’re eating lunch.

Make me laugh, and don’t water it down. There’s nothing worse for the millennial mom than the classic “advertising to moms with a smile” spot. It opens with a precocious kid tracking mud all over the house as mom rolls her eyes sweetly and grabs the cleaning product to wipe it up in a jiff.

It makes me want to blow my brains out. Why isn’t the kid cleaning it up? Mom is missing out on a teachable moment! Wait, now dad is walking in with muddy shoes too? And he’s letting the dog in?! This is a parenting fail all around. Who wrote this commercial? Who approved it? They need to go into the corner for a time out and think about what they’ve done.

Comedy can be intelligent and make mom a hero. I love the recent commercial for the Hyundai Santa Fe. The comedy is flawless, and the kids beat the football bullies in a hilarious, hyperbolic way. I saw it on a mommy blogger’s Twitter and then I shared it on Facebook. A client’s dream. The best part is mom looks effortlessly cool driving a minivan. She doesn’t even say anything, and I want to be her. More importantly, I want a Hyundai seven-passenger Santa Fe.

Make the millennial mom laugh; really laugh. Brighten up her day of scheduling mishaps and not cleaning and mainlining coffee and she will be your loyal customer. Warning: she just might pee a little.

Lyranda_Headshot_FINAL_COLLyranda Martin-Evans is  a creative director at KBS+. She’s also a co-author of the bestselling humour book, Reasons Mommy Drinks (Random House 2013).