REACH AND RECENCY THROUGH INNOVATION
We identified and fulfilled a specific need of mums-to-be, enabling us to reach them exclusively and at a critical moment of truth via an innovative utility.
Innovation without activation is a drop in the ocean. It affects few people, gains little traction and fails to turn around company fortunes.
This campaign identified a specific need for innovation – the need to provide touch to isolated mums and mums-to-be – found a branded solution and activated it to ensure all those struggling with being alone could benefit.
It’s the best of media thinking.
Everyone knows that breast is best. To encourage breastfeeding, the Israeli government has banned marketing of formula milk in maternity wards.
Sadly, however, not every mum can provide their own milk and some choose not to breastfeed. That’s where infant formula is vital. In such cases, hospitals are required to allow expectant mothers to select the brand they would like in an official statement at birth.
This decision matters because 75% of mums will use this brand for good.
Owning this moment will grow Similac, the challenger brand to market leader Materna.
Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)
WE RAISED THE PLIGHT AND FEARS OF ISOLATED, PREGNANT MUMS-TO-BE
Being pregnant and giving birth is hard, but much more so during Covid lockdowns. New mums were separated from most of their loved ones with just one escort allowed in hospital.
The result was “Affection Deprivation”, a chronic condition caused by a lack of affection from wider family and friends. This causes a massive release of Cortisol, the stress hormone, leading to mental, relational and health-related damage.
Our research identified that touch diminishes cortisol: skin-to-skin contact, known as essential for babies, is equally vital for mums too.
Our big break came from a Dutch sex-tech company called Kiiroo, which specializes in enabling couples to interact from a distance. Using haptics technology, it has found a way to create an experience of touch digitally.
Although originally designed for couples, this offered the solution to the problems experienced by our isolated mums.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
WE IDENTIFIED A REMEDY FOR A SOCIAL HARM
Our strategy would be to adapt the basic identification bracelets that mums and babies are given after birth to include Kiiroo’s technology.
Each bracelet would be paired with another. Press the Similac logo on one and the person wearing the other would feel a touch sensation via haptics technology – a direct route for friends, parents and grandparents to stay in touch.
The campaign would start by raising the plight of pregnant women during Covid. Working with pregnant influencers, we would tell stories of isolation.
We’d share this with our Similac Club, a group of around 400,000 women who connect for information and advice.
We would put Similac in maternity wards where no baby milk brand had ever been. Mums would wear our bracelet to the delivery room where they would select a formula brand – awareness at the moment of decision.
Describe the execution (20% of vote)
HAPTIC BRACELETS ALLOWED TOUCH CONTACT WITH THE WIDER FAMILY
We publicised our survey raising awareness of the stress pregnant women experience during the pandemic, connecting with the media and Similac Club members.
Then just as Israel entered another lockdown, we presented our solution, a haptics bracelet. Hundreds of branded haptics bracelets were issued to expectant mums as part of the standard maternity product sample package.
Worn on the wrist, it served as a final reminder to select Similac before they signed the official formula choice form, creating a unique presence at the moment of decision.
Pregnant influencers also received the bracelet and shared their stories. We also partnered with the country’s leading pregnancy content site and our story was covered by the country’s leading TV channels.
Finally, we enabled our haptics bracelet to deliver “one-touch” eCommerce, so that mums who needed it never ran out of Similac.
List the results (30% of vote)
WE TOOK MUMS-TO-BE BY THE HAND IN THE MATERNITY WARD
Our haptics bracelet became an instant hit, even making the coveted Top 5 list of must-have gadgets for pregnant women published by Israel’s leading content site.
We significantly exceeded our reach goals, with only 170,000 births per year our content has enjoyed more than 5.7 Million views in just two months…
We generated massive organic coverage. Interviewed on TV, our Mom influencers all mentioned their Similac bracelet, telling viewers how it helped them stay in touch with loved ones.
We even had to start a waiting list for bracelets.
Brand metrics improved massively with scientific-equity (+6%). innovation (+7%) and overall brand affinity (+3%).
Best of all, Similac officially became the most requested brand at maternity wards (+3%).
After four years of decline, Similac experienced a 0.7 percentage point rise in share quarter-on-quarter, a huge movement in a very competitive category.
Please tell us about the social behaviour that inspired the work
We identified a desperate need among mums-to-be touched. Lockdown had separated them from their wider families and they were suffering from “Affection Deprivation”. They were not getting the social contact they needed.
They were also stressed by troubling media reports about pregnant women who had got Covid. Some were choosing to miss critical medical appointments.
This situation was causing a surge in Cortisol – the stress hormone – damaging both mums and their unborn babies.
Our mission was to find a solution that could reduce these surges.