Something very strange is happening with Big Corporations. Out of nowhere, @kroger owned @FrysFoodStores, @KayJewelers, @Hallmark, and now @DoorDash have all sent "Opt out of #MothersDay" emails to their customer base. This is not organic.
This reeks of anti-family activists. pic.twitter.com/4pkKqGUooW
— Arizona Informer (@AZInformer) April 23, 2023
Fry’s Food Store’s message read, “We know Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be sensitive times for some. If you’d like to opt out of our emails and push notifications for these holidays, please tap below. Don’t worry, you’ll still receive all of our other emails.”
Another from Kay Jewelers says, “We’re Here For You. We know Mother’s Day can be a challenging time, which is why we want to know if you’d rather not receive Mother’s Day-related emails. Click the button below, and we’ll take care of the rest. As always, you’ll still be the first to know about new styles you’ll love.”
This isn’t occurring only in the United States. The practice is common for several businesses and is applied to many holidays.
According to the Australian outlet SmartCompany, flower brand Bloom & Wild have been practicing this “thoughtful marketing” style since 2019. Since then, hundreds of UK companies have followed suit.
Australian businesses such as Rollie, Aesop, Go-To, Archie Rose, and even the flower delivery service Daily Blooms, have sent out similar emails to customers.
Ancestry.com, Levi’s, MAC Cosmetics, StitchFix, Beauty Counter and By By Baby also participate in the practice.
Validating the feelings of customers in this way is believed by some to be a whole new level of pandering.
Those who participate in “thoughtful marketing” campaigns say it is an attempt to make a personal connection with customers. They welcome the new approach.
The Sydney Morning Herald recently ran a story that highlighted the thoughts of one psychologist, Tamara Cavenette. Cavenette said, “So, you know, we typically think of Mother’s Day as celebratory and an appreciation of someone, but there’s a whole lot of people who have lost their mother or don’t have the relationship with their parent in the way they want or parents who don’t have a relationship with their child in the way they want.”
Another clinical psychologist named Dr. Kirsty Ross told New Zealand-based outlet Stuff, “This recognition by retailers that these days may be raw and triggering for people gives those people the ability to have some control over the level of exposure to things that we would consider a ‘predictable trigger’ – something that you can expect to upset you. Minimising [sic] your exposure to those triggers is perfectly acceptable; having a break from what can feel like an onslaught of information and reminders at certain times of the year enables people to recharge and recover from their distress around a sense of loss.”
However, some believe this way of thinking is a slippery slope. When we begin to validate each and every customer’s feelings, where does that end?
Father’s Day has a long history of being attacked by those who do not consider the day important. Is this the beginning of canceling Mother’s and Father’s Day in the era of pronouns being policed?