Learn how the creator economy is transforming the marketing landscape, and how to cultivate partnerships to grow engaged communities at Social Media Week: The Creatorverse, May 16–18 in NY. Register now to secure your early bird pass.
Doritos Mexico just debuted an ad in anticipation of Mother’s Day featuring families with two moms called, “Thanks Mom, and Mom.” The new spot, created by Slap Global, shows kids standing on a theater stage, reading letters thanking their moms for all that they do, and all they have overcome to create and nurture their family. This ad emanates authenticity and is an excellent example of effectively reaching the LGBTQ+ audience. Why does the ad seem to work so well?
Real kids, surprising their actual moms
While the tactic of emotional surprises for loved ones is not new in advertising, it never ceases to pull at the heart strings. Doritos capitalizes on this, having real kids surprise their actual moms with the letters they have written. The ad then displays the real-time reactions of the mothers as well as the tender and passionate delivery of the messages by their kids. At its conclusion, the ad features family photos of the people in the ad to further reinforce the feeling of genuine connection between the viewer and the people in the ad. The effect: a poignant, sentimental ad, carried forward by authenticity, rawness and vulnerability.
The timing of the ad
By releasing this ad just in time for Mother’s Day, Doritos not only aligns the ad with the annual cultural moment of reflecting on the role of moms in all of our lives, but also provides a reason for including LGBTQ+ people in its advertising. From a persuasion perspective, unlike in many instances wherein brands and organizations include LGBTQ+ people and references in their ads, the viewer is not left asking themselves questions such as: What was the point of having the lesbian couple in the ad? Is the advertiser just trying to check the diversity box? Is this just tokenism? What do lesbians have to do with chips? Or, why did they not include other LGBTQ+ categories? Rather, the explanation is obvious: It’s Mother’s Day! Running an ad that speaks to mothers near Mother’s Day is par for the advertising course, and of course it makes sense to feature two-mom families—and not include other types of families—for a Mother’s Day ad.
The Doritos ad is also particularly effective in speaking to the LGBTQ+ audience because of the resonance of the content of the letters describing the actual challenges and struggles that two-mom families face, both in building a family and raising one. For example, Slap Global edited the film to string together the letters of the different children to make statements such as, “I’m glad your desire to start a family … was stronger than any prejudice,” “Thank you for putting up with annoying questions like, ‘Who’s the daddy and who’s the mommy?,’” and “Thanks for making me feel like no one is staring when we walk down the street.” Breaking up these sentiments is also a more common, non-LGBTQ-specific message: “Thank you, Mom, for those delicious meals you make, and thank you, Mommy, for those delicious takeout meals.” This content adds to the authenticity of the message by displaying the very real experiences of two-mom families and the big and small challenges they must overcome in everyday life to raise their family. The Doritos ad is positive and heart-warming, and does not paint a superficial, rosy picture of two-mom families. It honors the unique experience of two-mom families. However, by breaking up these sentiments with a thank you for delicious meals, the ad also conveys the common shared experiences of parenthood across families.
While not unique to this specific ad, the LGBTQ+ Pride year-round campaign is also an effective means of communicating Doritos’ genuine interest in aligning with and celebrating the LGBTQ+ audience. By creating an explicit year-round campaign, Doritos is again staving off questions about tokenism, whether they are just capitalizing on marketing opportunities such as Pride Month, or whether this is another hollow diversity and inclusion effort by another brand checking the box.
In sum, the Doritos Mexico “Thanks Mom, and Mom” ad uses the power of surprise, real people, relevant timing and resonant content to create a powerful Mother’s Day ad.