Mom is non-threatening. She wears a cardigan, she’s rarely seen outside the home and she adores her family. She’s not a unique individual with her own will and wishes at all—just a prim, proper, wholesome mother.
We’ve all seen that narrative portrayed in 1950s-era consumer products ads from the likes of Tide, Coca-Cola and, of course, Ovaltine. But in 2018, that stereotypical character is still alive and well.
That’s according to June Cleaver is Dead, a new consultancy born out of Seattle-based indie agency Wongdoody that vows to flip the outdated narrative on its head. The group, whose name plays on the archetypal housewife from the 1950s sitcom Leave It to Beaver as played by Barbara Billingsley, is comprised of a core team of Wongdoody employees who will work alongside the parent shop on relevant projects.
“Moms are super powerful. They make up 85 percent of purchase decisions, but one study showed that 95 percent of moms can’t relate to who they see on TV,” said Skyler Mattson, managing director of June Cleaver is Dead.
Mattson pointed to consumer products ads, like last year’s popular Mr. Clean Super Bowl spot, that still show mom bound to that ’50s stereotype. In the commercial, character “Sarah” was seen in her natural habitat—the kitchen—swooning over her man as he (shockingly) helped her clean their house.
“Generally, Mom is white, middle class, usually wearing a cardigan,” explained Mattson. “She’s joyfully partaking in carpool or folding laundry. You rarely see Mom partake in…