This ad for German parenting platform Eltern comes with a trigger warning, as it addresses the painful topic of miscarriage with an unexpected device—the voice of an unborn child.
The ad, from MullenLowe's Hamburg office, starts out seemingly as a straightforward Mother's Day message, with a kid's cute voiceover thanking Mom for being "the best mom in the whole wide world." As the camera travels around an apartment, with glimpses of a crib and baby books, the child's voice recounts cute moments—"Remember when we thought mashed potatoes with jam was really yummy?" However, when we get to a darkened bedroom, we see the "mom" sitting on the floor weeping, and the child reveals, "It's not your fault that I didn't make it."
The spot was directed by Bastian Glassner via Tony Petersen Film. According to Eltern's statement, the spot's aim is to alleviate some of the pain for parents dealing with miscarriage and free them from feelings of guilt and self-blame. It comes as Eltern is running an editorial special for Mother's Day with professional support from OB/GYNs as well as an open exchange in the community. It will include articles that provide information about the causes of a miscarriage, support in dealing with fears during further pregnancies and helpful tips for families and friends of those who are affected.
"Miscarriages are a taboo subject, even though it affects so many," said Marielle Wilsdorf, chief creative officer at MullenLowe Hamburg, in a statement. "Very few people talk openly about the painful loss and those around them often don't know how to deal with those affected. There is a lack of awareness, education, and exchange in society - this must change. The more women can open up and talk about their experience, the more likely they are to get the understanding and support they need."
"We believe the trigger warning allows anyone who has experienced a traumatic situation that is related to pregnancy to decide for themselves whether to proceed," added Wilsdorf. "It was crucial for us to integrate the warning and we never doubted its importance. At the same time, we felt it was important to not sugarcoat the pain and guilt that people feel who have experienced a miscarriage. We believe it’s highly necessary to spark an open discussion."
The ad is just the latest example of brands diving into painful or taboo subjects for Mother's Day. For U.K. Mother's Day earlier this year, we saw women's social platform Peanut launch outdoor ads that addressed issues such as infertility, baby loss and grief.