Huggies, the diaper brand, found success with Canadian mothers through moving beyond category norms and focusing on powerful, emotional connections.

Nadia Malowany, Kimberly-Clark’s Canadian brand leader for infant care (Huggies), discussed this topic at an event held by the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and WARC.

And she highlighted “No Baby Unhugged” an on-going, three-year effort that turned traditional category messaging on its head by emphasising the bonds between mothers and newborns, and took practical steps to foster such connections.

“We invited all moms to become ‘No Baby Unhugged’ moms,” Malowany said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies demonstrates the power of purpose with a hug.)

A case in point involves a program that offers expectant mothers a free pack of Huggies diapers and wipes for uploading a photo of her pregnant belly or hugging her newborn baby as part of the campaign.

“Once mom uploads her photo onto the site,” the Huggies brand leader continued, “she then becomes part of the Huggies family and the No Baby Unhugged family.”

This approach moved well outside the characteristic messaging in the diaper category that talked about subjects like “double-grip strips, leak-lock systems, and waistbands,” Malowany said.

Looking into the science and emotion of mother-and-baby skin-to-skin touch thus enabled Huggies to find a tangible point of difference within the category.

“Authenticity means really different things to different brands,” Malowany said, “but for us it meant continuing to figure out how to break away from traditional advertising norms.”

Consumer insights fed directly into this strategy. “We talked to moms. And we understood, from her, that she didn't want to see perfectly Photoshopped babies. Or perfect pictures of moms and dads. Or perfectly prepped hospital rooms,” she added.

“She wanted to see what was real. And so we gave it to her. No spot in any part of ‘No Baby Unhugged’ features any actors. These are real moms and dads in real hospital rooms, in real life birthing situations.”

Sourced from WARC