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New York, NY--According to a recent study by the Nielsen Company, 34% of American households have kids under 18, and modern moms are pulled in many directions. They’re hard to reach, but not impossible:

These moms are 19% more likely than the general population to engage in social networking

They’re even more likely than the general population to become a fan or follow a brand (31% more likely), become a fan or follow a celebrity (24% more likely) and comment on others postings (27% more likely).  

In broadcast primetime, ad recall levels are 8% lower among moms 25-54 than non-moms of the same age and the general population, but the ads that resonate most with them are family- and convenience-oriented with relatable characters and situations, sentimental tonality and good-natured humor.

A heavy focus on products/services tends to reduce ad effectiveness among moms.  For moms, the 30-second sitcom (or drama) ad might just snag her much-divided attention (a tactic employed very successfully by mass jeweler Sterling with its ads for both the Kay and Jared divisions.)

Reality TV was the favorite genre for broadcast primetime with this cohort. Half of the top 20 shows watched by this group fell into the reality category. For upscale jewelers concerned that shows like "Cops," "Hoarders," or "Jersey Shore" may not be the ideal spot for their advertising, remember that all the food, cooking, travel, and home and garden networks also fall into the category of reality TV. 

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Nielsen’s study also found moms increasingly engaged in online video, such as YouTube. The best way to capture her attention here is to make it personal, make it practical, and make it fun. As a corollary to the importance of sentiment, moms don’t relate to an impersonal brand image, they want to see the people behind the brand. They also want solutions to make their busy lives easier. Some of the most popular searches on YouTube start with “how to,” says Nielsen.

Finally, make it fun. The timeless combination of kids, cute pets, and comedy is a winner with this demographic, and what’s most likely to go viral.

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