Insights from the Third Largest Retail Holiday: Mother’s Day

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
May 22, 2019

Mother’s Day is the third-largest retail holiday, following the winter holidays and back-to-school season. As a result, many advertisers take advantage of the opportunity to run Mother’s Day focused ad campaigns for branding and connecting with the consumers with a message calling for actionable outcomes within a definitive time period.

According to the survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), a total of 84% of U.S. adults were expected to celebrate Mother’s Day in 2019, and the total spending this year was expected to reach a record $25B, up from $23.1B in 2018.

Mother’s Day is a great opportunity for all types of retailers to emotionally connect with consumers and encourage them to spend on gifts for their Mothers. Each year, thousands of advertisers and brands work to get a share of the billions of ad dollars being spent on running ad campaigns tailored specifically toward the holiday.

Retail advertisers should take time to understand Mother’s Day shoppers to capitalize on this opportunity and learn from the trends gleaned from ad campaigns that ran in previous years to plan for current and future retail windows.


Here’s the analysis of 2019 Mother's Day campaigns powered by ZypMedia, including a comparison to last year's Mother's Day campaigns, consumer spending stats, and facts that advertisers and marketers need to know to run a stellar digital advertising campaign for Mother’s Day.

In 2018, we reported that 72% of advertisers preferred a 15-20 day long campaign.

The duration of ZypMedia 2019 Mother's Day campaigns ranged between one to four weeks; 69% of advertisers preferred campaigns longer than a week.

Much to the disappointment of mothers everywhere, shoppers don’t plan as far in advance for Mother’s Day gifts as they do for Christmas gifts. Rather than spending advertising budgets toward long-running campaigns, it makes more sense to focus heavily on the three to four weeks leading up to Mother’s Day.




Over-the-top (OTT) campaigns increased from 5% to 55% in 2019, which is a 1,000% growth from last year.

Results like these reaffirm the industry trends we’re seeing of OTT adoption. The number of connected TV (CTV) and OTT video viewers continues to grow as more and more Americans are cutting and shaving the cord.

Mother’s Day ad campaigns were primarily targeted to reach sons and daughters streaming their favorite shows and movies to connect their brands with consumers  emotionally and to motivate buyer behavior.

Millennials have historically been hard for advertisers to reach, but OTT advertising strategies finally provide advertisers a way to get in front of them. OTT advertising has emerged as a leading strategy for advertisers during the holidays to reach this growing number of young, affluent consumers who are adapting to advanced TV at a faster pace.

Advertisers are now consistently adding OTT to their media mix to reach cord-cutting audiences. Last year, we saw 5% of our clients utilize  OTT ads for promoting Mother’s Day campaigns, compared to this year where we saw 55% of our clients utilize OTT campaigns to reach their target audiences — a whopping 1,000% growth!

It’s never too early to start thinking about the next holiday shopping cycle, now is the time to make sure that you have a robust marketing plan that includes OTT advertising in your media mix.




The highest-performing advertiser category was art and entertainment constituting 55%, which was supported mainly by music concerts, museum visits, and activities like special dinners and brunch outings.

While Mother’s Day signals a surge in shopping for gifts in the form of products or services, it’s important to note that specific industries perform much better than others.

Like any holiday, Mother’s Day has its own traditions, which translate into certain gifts being searched for and purchased more than others.

ZypMedia’s ad campaigns that ran for spas, wine sellers, theaters, TV shows, florists, organic farming markets, restaurants, and retail stores selling furniture, clothes, or jewelry performed the best during the Mother’s Day shopping season.

Our top categories of advertisers at ZypMedia comprised of art and entertainment, hobbies and interests, health and fitness, food and drink, home and garden, and shopping.


top advertisers


Our ad operations team observed the highest-performing click-through rate (CTR) from May 6-12, 2019, and the highest-performing video-completion rate (VCR) from May 1-12, 2019.

Mother’s Day fell on May 12th this year. At ZypMedia, we saw an increase in searches and ad performance in the beginning of the month leading up to the actual holiday. A higher CTR a week before Mother’s Day indicates that more people were clicking on ads during that time and a higher OTT VCR during early May indicates that people were more interested in learning about the product/service.

ZypMedia’s internal data indicates that the highest VCR of OTT ads for Mother’s Day campaigns was 98%.

Mother’s Day target audiences usually exhibit last-minute shopping behaviors, so OTT ad campaigns hold advantages for advertisers as they deliver results for short campaigns, while still offering high engagement rates.

This year’s learnings should be applied to next year’s digital advertising game plan.

Campaigns that use data improve their marketing ROI 15-20%. Looking at data will help you focus your attention on your highest-performing channels.

ZypMedia specializes in digital advertising, and we’re innovating to bring advertisers the best OTT technology.

Want even more insights to help you launch seasonal digital advertising campaigns and include OTT advertising as an element in your overall ad-campaign mix? Subscribe to our newsletter. We live and breathe digital and can’t wait to help you out!



Picture of Amrita Hemdev

Amrita Hemdev

Amrita is an inbound marketer. She studied marketing and project management at UC Berkeley and proceeded to work in a fast-paced, digital advertising tech startup, with a goal of increasing brand awareness. She is currently the Content Marketing Specialist at ZypMedia. Passionate about digital marketing and having six years of experience in this field, she also started her digital marketing and creative agency, Sociato, based in India.