In spring 2006, Pampers and Dreft, two distinguished Procter & Gamble (P&G) brands, were preparing to launch similar, yet individual PR campaigns to support three different products, targeted at the same audience with similar messaging and goals. PainePR, as the agency of record for both Pampers and Dreft, was tasked to develop PR programs to elevate brand awareness and communicate key product attributes, targeted at moms of newborns.
During the research and planning process, PainePR realized the individualized approach would cannibalize coverage for each brand, so the agency made a strategic recommendation to pool budgets and resources to create one impactful, cohesive campaign with greater reach. Thus, for the first time, three products under Fabric & Home Care and Family Care - two separate, massive P&G business units - collaborated on a national PR campaign to leverage the message synergy of the brands, reduce the budget per brand and maximize PR results overall.
While Pampers and Dreft were already well-established brands with huge market share, neither brand was launching anything “new.” Of the three products involved in the campaign – Pampers Sensitive Wipes, Pampers Swaddlers diapers and Dreft laundry detergent – only Pampers Sensitive Wipes had a new formula and clinical data to promote. It was up to PainePR to “create” the news and make the three products both timely and relevant to our target audience and the key media to both brands.
Research and Planning
In order to coordinate a number of moving parts, various goals and product messages, the Mom-to-Mom Sharing program required a great deal of research and planning, including:
Ø Through our research we discovered that the nation was experiencing a celebrity baby boom, with several stars expecting or having just delivered long-awaited and highly publicized babies. This trend forced all eyes – both consumer and media – to closely examine motherhood.
Ø At the same time, our research also showed that young moms aren’t necessarily as inspired by celebrities as previous generations, though they do recognize that because of their income level they can afford to buy the best.
Ø We already knew that 40 percent of moms consider other moms among their best sources of information. Thus the catalyst for the “mom-to-mom” sharing umbrella theme.
Ø Through additional research we learned that much of mom-to-mom sharing takes place at baby showers, so we researched baby showers. We learned that the most popular time to throw a baby shower was May-July, solidifying our launch timing of late June.
Ø We also learned that a popular gift at baby showers is memory books or scrapbooks. We researched the popularity and prevalence of scrapbooking among moms who were a part of our target audience. The research concluded that it is one of the most popular activities that links moms, thereby reinforcing our goal of encouraging mom-to-mom sharing.
Ø In addition to being bookable, our spokesperson needed to be someone realistic and relatable; someone who could speak to our mom target audience genuinely as a mom herself. We researched and vetted several possibilities before identifying Wendy Bellissimo, nursery designer to the stars and mother of four – who embodied all of the characteristics and lifestyle that both Pampers and Dreft promoted. Her celebrity status and link to the nation’s celebrity baby craze gave us unprecedented entertainment media value, while her credibility as a baby clothing and furniture designer and “real-life” mom made her very relevant to our target mom audience. Furthermore, Wendy’s personality is soft and sweet and genuine; she is someone moms both listen and relate to, and vice versa.
Ø Finally, we spent a good deal of time researching “mediability” of our news hook, spokesperson and angle by soft-selling the idea to producers before we finalized our plan.
Objectives included: 1) Execute a media relations campaign to reach moms in a meaningful way to increase awareness of Pampers Swaddlers, Sensitive Wipes and Dreft brands; 2) Generate a minimum of 92 million media impressions 3) Create an action item to encourage word-of-mouth “buzz” among target audiences; and 4) Communicate Pampers Swaddlers, Sensitive Wipes and Dreft key messages around newborn skin health and “gold standard” products across all mediums.
PainePR recommended a media relations campaign that delivered key brand messages directly to moms via media coverage and most importantly mom-to-mom “chatter.” Based on research, our strategic plan included the following:
1) Work with a relatable spokesperson that also was a credible expert that moms and dads would trust. Use this “mom-to-mom” expert for satellite media tour (
2) Capitalize on the celebrity baby trend to help make our campaign relevant and timely, and use this as a platform to deliver our messages.
3) Create a lasting, commemorative Baby Shower scrapbook that would extend the consumer awareness beyond just one-off media relations, and serve as a conduit to media coverage and help create “buzz” amongst our mom target. Issue a limited number of these books (5,000) in order to increase desirability and value to consumers.
4) Craft synergistic key messages to ensure both Pampers and Dreft benefited from the efforts while positioning both as companies that care about baby’s well-being and development.
5) Reach Mom influencers through a variety of PR activities designed to hit our target mom at various touchpoints including broadcast, print, online and through word-of-mouth buzz. Seed books in key places to entice message delivery and mom-to-mom sharing.
6) Work closely with Pampers and Dreft’s other agencies, particularly interactive, to ensure a comprehensive, holistic campaign with supportive messages across all media activities.
1) Baby Shower Scrapbook: Working closely with Wendy Bellissimo, we created a limited-edition baby shower-themed “Sweet Baby Memories” scrapbook, created exclusively to bring Pampers and Dreft to life. The book leveraged Wendy’s design and mom expertise, and also featured tips and a personal note from her along with space for other “experienced” moms to share their own insights during the baby shower. We also included subtle branding throughout the book, in a non-commercial, trustworthy way.
3) Press Materials: Original materials created for this campaign included a press release, top nursery and diaper bag must-haves, “Did You Know?” fact sheet highlighting product info & baby wipes “myth-busters,” and imagery to visually communicate product messages. Much of this was housed in creative baskets including items from Wendy’s product line.
4) Media Relations: PainePR developed a press release with wire distribution and conducted extensive media outreach to news syndicates and syndicated wires, daily newspapers, regional and long-lead parenting magazines and key pop-culture magazines, such as Us Weekly and Life & Style. In some cases, we augmented pitches with visuals, including the scrapbook and creative product baskets. We used a spokesperson to conduct print interviews as well.
5) Online: PainePR created a unique Web site, sweetbabymemories.com, which served as the “one-stop” destination for all PR-driven traffic. Co-branded by all three participating P&G brands, the site featured Wendy’s tips and advice, served as a means to order the limited-edition Sweet Baby Memories scrapbook, directed consumers to specially developed Pampers Sensitive Wipes, Swaddlers and Dreft content, and served as a means for measuring the effectiveness of the PR campaign by tracking unique visitors.
6) Editorial Giveaways and Promotions: Finally, PainePR coordinated editorial/promotional scrapbook and product giveaways through parent-centric radio stations, publications and online media sources.
Objective 1: Execute a media relations campaign to reach moms in a meaningful way to increase awareness of Pampers Swaddlers, Sensitive Wipes and Dreft brands – The campaign launched with a concurrently-timed press release and 21-city satellite media tour, including a national “Daily Buzz” nationally-syndicated segment and airings in top-tier markets such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle direct from Wendy Bellissimo’s own nursery. Each segment contained Dreft and Pampers brand messages, as well as mention of the sweetbabymemories.com site as an action-driver. Coverage continued with both Reuters and Dow Jones covering the story, and an 11-city radio media tour, including nationally syndicated parenting shows. A DirecTV feed resulted in airings on We, Lifetime, E! and ABC Family cable networks, among others. Before the end of the campaign, we saw print articles in outlets such as the Newark Star Ledger, Miami Herald, American Baby, Us Weekly and Life & Style, 55 online stories and hundreds of TV and radio placements.
Objective 2: Generate a minimum of 92 million media impressions-- In total, the campaign resulted with 1,523 media placements and a total of more than 160 million impressions, in daily, weekly and monthly parenting and general lifestyle publications, including confirmed pending placements.
Objective 3: Create an action item to encourage word-of-mouth “buzz” among target audiences – Consumers responded in a manner that far exceeded our expectations, leading us to release an additional 2500 scrapbooks. Even with the added books, we quickly “sold out” on day one as moms registered at a rate of 80 per minute. Prior to the Mom-to-Mom campaign, the Dreft Web site (where sweetbabymemories.com was housed), had been averaging around 325 visits per day. On the launch day, the site had 17,566 visits – an increase of 530 percent – excluding those who could not get through when the site crashed. Furthermore, we are able to directly link scrapbook registries to
Objective 4: Communicate Pampers Swaddlers, Sensitive Wipes and Dreft key messages around newborn skin health and “gold standard” products across all mediums – By choosing Wendy Bellissimo as our spokesperson, we were able to work with someone who genuinely believed in the Pampers and Dreft products and benefits. She used them with all four of her daughters and already recommended them to friends and clients. As a result, all Wendy’s media interviews included not only genuine messages, but also personal anecdotes about the products’ value that permeated coverage. In fact 98.3 percent of coverage included product mentions, and 97.5 percent included product key messages. In addition, Wendy’s tips live forever in the 7,500 scrapbooks that will be shared