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Ad calling motherhood world's toughest job goes viral

How do you get an advertisement to go viral? With Mother's Day approaching, it turns out it's not that hard.

Mullen Advertising, on behalf of (a division of American Greetings), has achieved viral video Nirvana with its spot, "world's toughest job." The video reports on reactions of real people to a fake online job description. Mullen tells me that the people thought they were part of a focus group and not really interviewing for a job; they also received a small payment for their time.

As the video shows, participants were shocked at the difficulty of the job. Here are some (but not all) of the requirements:

  • Must be able to work 135+ hours a week
  • Ability to work overnight, associate needs pending
  • Willingness to forgo any breaks
  • Work mostly standing up and/or bending down
  • Must be able to lift up to 75 lbs. on a regular basis
  • Ph.D. in psychology or real-life equivalent
  • Unlimited patience
  • Understanding of finance
  • Understanding of medicine
  • Selflessly driven
  • Valid driver's license, CPR certification and Red Cross membership

What's the job? Being a mom, naturally. The resulting video went viral, with over 11 million views as of today. The ad is reminiscent of a popular Proctor & Gamble ad that ran during the Olympics that also extolled the virtues of self-sacrificing mothers.

I personally find the old saw about how motherhood is the world's toughest job ever somewhat insulting -- both to mothers and to the people who actually do the toughest jobs in the world. The fact is, a lot of motherhood is fun. I find the idea that motherhood is so ridiculously difficult to be a subtle suggestion that women aren't capable of competing in the workplace.

As for the world's hardest jobs? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation's most dangerous jobs include, logging, fishing, aircraft pilots and flight engineers and roofers. Sure, there are hard times to be found in motherhood. But is it the most difficult job? Nope.

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