Brands step it up for Mother’s Day

Indigo, Carharrt and Food Basics show all sides of motherhood to offer extra support in a year when it's needed most.

image004Hopefully by now it is common knowledge that moms have carried a disproportionate amount of the struggles we’ve faced during the pandemic.

Stats Canada data has shown that women as a whole have faced a greater portion of the massive job losses that have been seen across the country in the last 13 months, and the moms that are still working are doing it in between taking on a greater load of childcare and reporting more mental health challenges than their partners.

Some ads have taken a more justice-minded approach to correcting this, but as Mother’s Day gets closer, other brands have launched their own efforts to show a bit of extra appreciation to the moms (and mother figures) who have gone through a lot since last year.


Created by its in-house studio, Indigo’s Mother’s Day campaign is meant to celebrate not just being a mom, but all the things moms do for us.

That includes putting their family’s care over sleep, putting others’ goals over their own and telling themselves things that often contradict the worries and struggles they too often keep inside.

A key part of the action-oriented message is that this is directed to “those who mother” – which can be anyone that does the kinds of things we as a society expect from mothers, be they other family members, friends, neighbours or mentors.

The message is coming across in window displays at Indigo stores, a full-page add in The Globe and Mail, social content and mailers sent out to influencers, all of which push to Indigo’s online Mother’s Day hub so shoppers can find something that will show appreciation for those who mother in their lives.


When it comes to the issue of moms splitting work and childcare, a lot of the conversations have typically centred on those who would otherwise be in the office, and now have to keep an eye on the kids and prep lunches while juggling zoom calls in their home office. No small feat, certainly, but that doesn’t cover the full experience of being a working mom – what about the working-class moms who’ve spent years fitting their parenting between exhausting shifts on the farm, workshop or job site?

Workwear brand Carhartt is giving these moms their due this year in a campaign created by its in-house agency and shot by director Pam Thomas of Community Films. The message Carhartt is trying to get across in between shots of blue collar moms applying their trades and raising their kids is that it specifically doesn’t make gear for Mother’s Day – because those 24 hours, at the very least, should be when these moms can get a break from their otherwise year-long jobs.

Food Basics

Food Basics is getting back to the basics of Mother’s Day, offering moms the simple reassurance and support that can go a long way in a stressful year.

Created by Open, the campaign comes from the children themselves, professing their love and appreciation for mom, all in comparison to classic kid food preferences, like endless scoops of ice cream and the tastiest pizza. A digital extension of the campaign ties Mother’s Day gestures back to the discount grocer’s “for less” messaging, from breakfast in bed to easy recipes the rest of the family can take on.