updated 28 May 2011, 08:23
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Fri, May 07, 2010
Urban, The Straits Times
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Motherhood statements
by Ian Lee

When it comes to product endorsements by celebrities, increasingly these days, mum's the word.

Singapore's actresses and models who swopped the spotlight for motherhood are finding themselves back in the limelight as advertisers clamour to use them. Their cute kids are getting in on the action too.

Take Urban's cover model, Junita Simon, 32, Supermodel of the World Singapore in 1995, and now shaping up to be a super-mum model. She and adorable son Rayaan Dass, four, have appeared in advertisements for department store Robinsons and on the cover of Mother And Baby magazine.

Indeed, Terrence Tan, creative director at advertising agency DDB, estimates that there are

50 per cent more celebrity mum endorsements now compared to three years ago.

He says that products 'appealing to families and households, such as those sold at supermarket chains, plus fast-moving consumer goods like cleaning agents' benefit most from a celebrity mum endorsement.

Beauty and slimming products are also increasingly using these model mums because 'it is a testament that women can age beautifully'.

He adds: 'The rise in advertisements featuring celebrity mums reflects the ageing population demographic of Singapore. Brands naturally look for mature celebrities rather than young ones for product categories that target older consumers.'

It is also a case of hats off to one of Singapore's big showbiz names, Zoe Tay, 42, now a mum of four-year-old Brayden and two-year-old Ashton. She is said to be pregnant with her third child.

Tan reckons she helped kickstart the trend here, pointing out that many popular local actresses have become mums since Tay started having offspring and this gives brands more options when looking for faces to endorse their products.

Host and business owner Diana Ser, 38, agrees. She says: 'There are more celebs with kids, so naturally advertisers have a bigger pool to choose from.'

The trend of using famous mums for endorsements is wide-spread overseas. American business magazine Forbes recognised their financial force last year with a top 10 list of Hollywood's hardest-working mothers.

Madonna topped the list with a staggering

US$110 million ($148 million) earned in 2008 from her Sticky And Sweet tour, along with endorsements for Louis Vuitton luxury goods and mobile phone brand Vodaphone.

American actresses Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow rounded up the top three with US$24 million and US$20 million earned respectively.

In Singapore, even environmental causes can use help from celeb mums, it seems.

Next month, American skincare brand Kiehl's will launch limited-edition versions of its pore-minimising Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, designed by the kids of celeb parents like Wong Li Lin, Nadya Hutagalong and Beatrice Chia-Richmond. All proceeds will go to the Singapore Environment Council. Six designs are available and each is priced at $45.

'We thought these celebrity parents would resonate with the public for this local project because they are multi-faceted,' says Michelle Chew, brand manager of Kiehl's Singapore.

She explains: 'While they are celebrities and busy parents, they can also be friends of the environment. Saving the environment should be cultivated from young and so having the participation of their children lends a louder voice to the whole initiative.'

Altogether now... awwwwww.

>> Celebrity mums

This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.

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