Oula, which operates two “modern maternity clinics” combining midwives' and doctors' care in Brooklyn and Manhattan, is launching parallel out-of-home guerilla campaigns consisting of stickers affixed in two Big Apple staples: subways and sidewalks.
Anyone can put such stickers down on the sidewalks, Oula’s chief experience officer Joanne Schneider tells Marketing Daily, and “anyone can also remove them if they want to.” But, she says, “we’re hoping to choose spots where they’ll stick around for a little bit of time.”
In the subways, she adds, the fact that the messaging is via stickers, “helps get away from any kind of sense of vandalism or anything that we could get in trouble for. They are easily removed, so we don’t expect them to be there for a long period of time. It’s sort of high visibility for a short period of time.”
The subway campaign, running in numerous stations and train lines not too far from Oula’s facilties, will consist of three different stickers designed to “shine a light on the experience of pregnant people in everyday places, Schneider says.
Thse stickers confront the lack of consideration many pregnant riders experience in the transit system through graphics that use MTA-style figurines (New Yorkers might remember MTA ads about people taking up too much room by spreading their legs) and include the following lines:
“Pregnancy is a long ride. Offer a seat.”
“My hand is on my belly. My feet need a seat.”
The sidewalk campaign, running in “locations where parents and parents- to-be are trafficking,” such as “around playgrounds or pediatricians’ offices,” consists of five different stickers spotlighting “the voices of our patients,” Schneider says. “Our patients are people who really believe that the status quo isn’t good enough. In amplifying those voices, we want others to be inspired to demand more from the way they’re treated in the healthcare system.”
Among those lines are:“I want to feel like my pregnancy matters“ and “My previous OB made me feel invisible.”
“I heard horror stories about giving birth–I knew I wanted something different.”
The cost for these campaigns? As Elaine Purcell, Oula’s chief operating officer and co-founder, told Forbes last week, "We don't have to spend much on marketing.”
Schneider explains that word of mouth and referrals alone had been enough to keep Oula growing --“we reached capacity within three months” following its mid-pandemic Brooklyn Heights opening during a snowstorm in February, 2021. And, Schneider notes, “three out of four of us on the executive team were pregnant at the time,” so she also became one of Oula’s first patients.
Now, with this past July’s opening of a second facility in Soho, a third on the way (they won’t say where yet) and – after raising $22.3 million in venture funding -- even more coming in both New York and other cities, “we’re doubling down on spreading the word and getting people to understand the magic of bringing OBs and doulas together,” Schneider says. “Now that we’re in Manhattan, it felt like it was time to really bring our message to a broader audience and to be louder about it.”
The sidewalk campaign launched Feb. 15, the subway campaign will debut Feb. 21, with both scheduled to run for about five weeks.