Mother rebrands to start discussion about old age

Grandmother: reception wall has been filled with photos of employees’ grandmothers
Grandmother: reception wall has been filled with photos of employees’ grandmothers

Mother is changing its name to Grandmother for December to tackle the invisibility and patronising portrayals of older people in advertising.

Along with changing its visual identity for the month, the agency will update its reception wall, replacing the photos of employees’ mothers that usually adorn the wall with pictures of their grandmothers.

The agency will run a series of initiatives designed to stimulate discussion and raise money for charity. The most eye-catching is Red-Hot Grannies, a phone line that allows callers to hear older women reading erotic passages from classic literature at an "extortionate cost per minute", with proceeds going to age-related charities. 

There will also be "knitted tweets", whereby a team of grandmothers will knit messages and designs on demand via Twitter, with the finished products put up for auction. A more conventional bake sale will also take place. 

In January, Mother will hold an exhibition and debate about old age and its portrayal in media.

Hermeti Balarin, executive creative director at Mother, said the project continues a theme this year in the agency’s work. 

He said: "Most advertising either ignores or patronises the older generations. Whether that’s through casting an age-defying ballerina for No7 or through our work for new client SunLife showing golden oldies in a new light, Mother is proving that life really does start at 50."

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