Charlotte-based ad shop BooneOakley has created a new campaign designed to promote the benefits of breast-feeding.
The agency didn’t have a particular client assignment when it created the campaign. Rather it is offering campaign-related materials to hospitals free of charge. Through the campaign the shop is hoping to reposition breasts — usually part of “sex sells” initiatives in advertising -- as useful tools for moms and newborns.
The campaign includes stickers that are modeled after those seen on fresh produce at the supermarket, and carry a “100%natural”claim. Another sticker reads, “the best nutrition for your baby is you.” They are intended for nursing moms to place on one breast, as a memory aid, to remind them which breast to feed their baby from next. There are three different colors, with different health messages noting that breast-feeding reduces the risk of obesity, SIDS and asthma.
The agency has also created posters that display one large photo of a woman’s breast, sticker attached. There is no other copy.
The effort began when BO copywriter Mary Gross and advertising director Kara Noble talked with an account woman at the agency who had just become a mom about how difficult breast-feeding can be, and how much dedication it takes. The conversation sparked the idea of creating a public awareness campaign that reinforced the health benefits of such dedication.
The concept wasn't without its challenges. The casting required non-professional models who were either pregnant or nursing. Anatomically, the goal was to show varied, full, and real-looking, not “perfect,” breasts. Moreover, the agency decided not to crop out or cover the nipples.
“We’re so used to breasts being sexualized. But to a newborn, it’s nutrition. You don’t censor fruits and vegetables, do you?" asks Gross.
However, this execution proved to be troublesome in a business office. During the campaign’s development, a “breast wall” was covered with about 100 photos. All of which had to be hastily removed, twice, for client visits. The water delivery guy, on the other hand, seemed to hang around a bit longer than usual, joke agency executives.
The first hospital to adopt the campaign, starting this month, is Women and Babies Hospital, Lancaster, Pa., a division of LGHealth, University of Pennsylvania Health System. Other interested institutions can contact BooneOakley CD David Oakley.