Prisoner or astronaut? Comfort supports mums in gritty film


Last month, Unilever’s fabric conditioner brand Comfort launched a short film targeted at moms, taking a gritty and emotional look at the role of two mothers with very different sons. See why its out video viral of the week below…

The film features two mothers talking about their sons as they prepare to meet them, after not seeing them for a long time. One son is a prisoner, the other is an astronaut. As the story unfolds, both women talk about how much they miss their sons and worry about them and how they tried to raise them well but wished they had done some things differently.

The sons meanwhile reflect on their childhoods and how their mothers always showed them love.

The concept of "The day I visited my son" ad, which uses real people rather than actors, is that there are no good or bad mothers and that love is all that matters, while seeking to release mothers from the "pressure to be perfect".

The Comfort brand name is not seen until the end of the ad and there is no footage of people using the product.

The film ends with a twist, not revealing which man is the son of which mother.

The ad was shown on television as well as social media channels.

Commenting on the ideas behind the film, Yves Geisenberger, global brand VP for fabric conditioners, Unilever, said: “The pressure on mothers today is intense. Everywhere you turn there is an opinion, a celebrity or a style of motherhood that is deemed ‘right’. And it changes constantly. Most communications perpetuate this notion that everything and everyone should always be picture perfect.”

“What we set out to do with this film is to take a moment to remind all mums, and society as a whole really, that, in the end, it’s the little everyday things that mothers do to express their love that matter more than trying to reach perfection. Instead of adding to the pressure, we want to help restore confidence,” adds Geisenberger.

The ad was created by Ogilvy & Mather London and Singapore.

Eugene Cheong, chief creative officer, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, said: “We chose a prisoner and an astronaut to illustrate the dramatic contrast between two sons whose paths in life have taken them to very different places. What unites them is the time they must spend away from their families. Despite their sons’ disparate circumstances, both mothers share the same doubts and believe they could have done things better. Importantly, the film features real people and real families, not actors. It is impossible to tell whose son is whose, reinforcing the message that what matters in the end is the love mums give.”

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