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Hallmark's Mother's Day Ads Are Shockingly Edgy. Just Kidding, They're Really, Really Sappy


Adland's trend toward weepy gratitude continues, just in time for Mother's Day, as Hallmark rolls out a series of videos from Leo Burnett in which people express love and appreciation for their moms.

The ads are part of the brand's "Put Your Heart to Paper" campaign. Hallmark encourages its subjects—who are unaware their moms are watching in another room and will soon join them on camera—to express their deeper feelings beyond predictable phrases like "Thank you" and "I love you."

This elicits some heartfelt, even impassioned responses.

Alana, raised by a single mother and a new mom herself, says, "If I didn't have my mom, I think I would be lost." Emilio says of his mother Floridalma, "She taught me what it is to be a man and what to look for in the mother of my children."

It's almost impossible not to be moved by this stuff. Which, of course, is the whole point. Still, the basic concept—thanking those you love—no matter how well intentioned or executed, feels tired, simply because it's been trotted out so much lately.

Ogilvy's award-winning "Why Wait Until It's Too Late?" campaign for funeral insurance company Dela got things rolling. Other notable entries include MetLife's "Who Do You Live For?" spots from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and the recent "Thank List" initiative created for American Greetings by Mullen.

With these mom-themed videos, Hallmark contributes a perfectly fine flight of tearjerkers to the category. At this point, however, I'm a little burned out on branded gratitude, and crying mostly because I wish the trend would stop.

Client: Hallmark
Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
Chief Creative Officer: Susan Credle
Executive Creative Director: Charley Wickman
Creative Directors: Mark Wegwerth, Christopher Cole
Senior Art Director: Kate Sullivan
Senior Copywriter: Adam Ferguson
Head of Production: Vincent Geraghty
Executive Producer: Tom Keramidas
Senior Producer: Rena Dusenbury
Business Manager: Anne Carbo
Senior Talent Manager: Linda Yuen
Music Supervisor: Chris Clark
Music: Massive Music
Managing Account Director: Karla Flannery
Account Supervisor: Amy Walloch
SVP Participation Strategy Director: Kevin Lilly
Planning Director: AJ Livsey
Production company: Chelsea
Editorial company: White House Post
Post Production Company: The Mill
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Head of Production: Adam Guliner
Line Producer: Julianne Maloney
Editor: David Cea
Assistant Editor: Travis Hockswender
Executive Producer: Kristin Branstetter
Audio Mix: Erik Widmark
Colorist: Luke Morrison

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