Category A12. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
Idea Creation LDV UNITED Antwerp, BELGIUM
Name Company Position
Kristof Snels LDV United Creative Director
Jasper Declercq LDV United Copywriter
Julie Vanderbeck LDV United Art Director
Jeffrey Uten LDV United Design director
Marieken Maes LDV United Account Director
Evi Messagie LDV United Account Executive
Tomas Sweertvaegher LDV United Strategic Director
Noortje Palmers Noortje Palmers GCV Photographer
Jasper Léonard Noortje Palmers GCV Videographer

Why is this work relevant for PR?

We wanted to change public opinion on breastfeeding in public, but had a zero euro media budget. So, to get earned media and spark public conversation, we invented Breastfeeding Extras: extras that appear in the background of TV shows while they are breastfeeding their babies. The press played an important role in pressuring production houses to book extras for the background of their movie sets. Because necessary press attention would show the win-win for production houses, offering them a spotlight for their own TV-shows.


Breastfeeding has always been one of the most beautiful and natural things in the world. But things have changed. More and more breastfeeding mothers receive complaints for their “indecent behaviour” and are being sent away from restaurants, parks or shops. Forced to breastfeed their babies behind closed doors or even in toilets. ‘Child & Family’, a Belgian governmental organisation that supports young parents and nurseries, wanted to make breastfeeding normal again.

Describe the creative idea

But how to change the vision of an entire nation? By bringing it back into popular culture. Because the more you see breastfeeding, the more normal it becomes. That’s why we decided to reach Belgians by their favourite entertainment-medium: television. But how to sneak into TV-shows and movies without a single euro media budget? So, we came up with something quite unusual: Breastfeeding Extras. They are just like normal extras that appear in the background of television shows, movies, video clips or talk shows. The only difference is that Breastfeeding Extras are breastfeeding their baby while acting.

Describe the strategy

To launch the idea, we’ve created a casting agency and used the power and reach of influencers to inspire volunteers to register online on our special casting agency-website. Next the press attention would be of great importance to charm production agencies to book our special extras. Because only if we could get breastfeeding in the background of real TV shows or films, we could show how common it is to breastfeed a baby in public.

Describe the execution

We’ve used the power and reach of influencers to inspire volunteers to register on our casting agency-website. The press loved the surprise and pressured production agencies to hire a Breastfeeding Extra for their recordings. The agencies were charmed by the idea and soon, one of Belgians biggest TV-soaps, Familie, booked a Breastfeeding Extra. The day their episode was aired, a second wave of PR was implemented to tease Belgians to pay close attention to the Breastfeeding Extra that would be aired that night. Finally, a third wave of PR kicked off the national week of breastfeeding by announcing that there were nearly 500 Breastfeeding Extras registered in Belgium.

List the results

It was an unusual approach and it worked. With zero euro media budget, we managed to already get a reach of 20 million and received over €686.000 in ad value. Besides, after only one week, 10.000 people have visited our casting website. What’s even better, 497 of our visitors subscribed to become a Breastfeeding Extra. That’s a conversion rate of 5%. Our first Extras have already made their debut in big shows like ‘Familie’, ‘De zonen van Van As’ and ‘De Buurtpolitie’. The Flemish Audio-visual Fund even decided to become a supporting partner. Moreover, Breastfeeding Extras are even going off-screen, appearing in two famous Belgian comic books, ‘Kiekeboe’ and ‘De Buurtpolitie’. This way, we’re reaching an even bigger and more diverse audience. And so, episode by episode, our Breastfeeding Extras are changing the way Belgians think about breastfeeding. Proving that breastfeeding is truly part of everyday life.