Five ads that show how motherhood has changed

With Mother's Day fast approaching, Marketing has taken a look at the changing face of motherhood in advertising. Here are five ads showing the progression of women and motherhood.


Persil: What is a mum? 

Filmed in black and white, the 1950s ad shows a mother returning home to do the washing while her son fixes his motorbike. The voice over by a man says: "A mum is someone who worries herself half to death and then pretends she wasn’t fussing."  She is someone who "needs a lot of patience" and a lot of Persil, he adds.



Oxo: The Oxo Mum

This much-loved ad from the 1980s features the Oxo mum (played by Lynda Bellingham). It is recognised as a classic where she presents the dinner with the words: "Yes it is foreign" to her children. But she finishes saying to her husband seductively: "Remember Preston."


John Lewis – Always a Woman

This follows a newborn baby through her life into girlhood, womanhood, motherhood and then even grandmotherhood in 90 seconds. The spot sees her wearing red throughout as the song  'Always a woman' is sung.  The tug on the heartstrings finishes with the John Lewis words:  "Never knowingly undersold".



American Greetings and Cardstore  - World’s Toughest Job

Women are doing the toughest job and not getting the credit, according to one greetings card company. Webcam footage of people being interviewed for a fake job entitled 'director of operations' reveals the "extensive" scope of the role. It involves working standing up, a 135 hour week, no sleeping and a salary of "absolutely nothing".  While the shocked applicants respond he explains these people are mothers.  The emotive ad finishes with the words:  "This Mother’s Day you might want to make her a card."



L’Oreal - Women of Worth

Women are changing the world in this film. This Women of Worth celebration shows the inspiring stories of women who have made a difference. This spot highlights one of the mothers, Phyllis Sudman, who lost her son to a heart condition. As a founder of Simon’s Fund she helps to raise awareness of the issue. The theme is that when a woman feels that she’s worth it, she is empowered.

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