The cultural expectations around breastfeeding puts a lot of pressure on new moms: public health groups and health care providers emphasize that "breast is best" for mom and baby, while Instagram and mommy bloggers make the process seem natural, beautiful, and effortless.
But while many moms make the choice to breastfeed, 1 in 4 don't make it past the first 21 days. Of the many barriers to breastfeeding successfully, we found that the most daunting barriers are the lack of support and realistic expectations. In reality, breastfeeding is an unexpected and unique journey for each and every mom. There's no handbook, and many moms give up after hitting the first of few unexpected hiccups.
Medela—the leading breast pump provider in the U.S. and a trusted resource for moms—set out to create a social campaign, #22Victories, that directly addressed these false expectations through the use of real-time storytelling.
We wanted to prove that if breastfeeding moms have the right amount of support, education, and encouragement during the first three weeks, they would be able make it to day 22 and continue to breastfeed for as long as they want to.
We launched #22Victories, a social campaign, to provide that support. Knowing that each breastfeeding journey is utterly unique, we needed a campaign that would tell the real story of breastfeeding, in real-time, as the utterly unique and unexpected experience it truly is.
We identified and partnered with two real moms, Carolina and MJ, to share the unfiltered, real struggles of those first three weeks from the day gave birth—capturing every little moment, every hiccup, and every tiny victory in between.
Every day for 22 days, we shed light on MJ and Carolina's real breastfeeding experiences by capturing unscripted and unplanned diary-like content and sharing it on our social channels. Inspired by the raw and authentic content the two moms shared on our channels, our online community of moms started responding with their own intimate and unfiltered breastfeeding stories in support. Moms from all over the country flooded our channels with comments, photos, and messages of support and encouragement.
Instagram was our channel of choice as we shared and amplified the real-time experience our moms were going through. As an ideal platform where users seek out unvarnished, in-the-moment content, we decided to use Instagram Stories and Highlights to house all the raw and authentic content created by the two moms. Functionalities such as Question Stickers on Instagram allowed our community to provide real-time support for these moms by telling their own breastfeeding stories and experiences and giving advice as needed. Using Medela's vast library of breastfeeding resources, we then created an illustrated series of tips shared on our social platforms that addressed specific struggles our two moms faced every day.
A robust paid media plan amplified the campaign to reach pre and post-natal moms across social channels (paid buy of $50k) and reached out to over 200 press outlets.
To keep the conversation going beyond the 22 days, we filmed a retrospective video of two moms' stories and promoted it on Facebook, Instagram feed, and Instagram Stories ads to direct moms back to our Instagram story Highlights, which housed all of the content from the 22 days.
Inspired by the raw content created for the campaign, 30% of the thousands of comments we received were by moms detailing their own unvarnished stories of the first three weeks of breastfeeding, in hopes that their stories would inspire or comfort others. 50% of comments supported or thanked us for taking a topic that was previously perceived as taboo and sharing it in a public forum.
In the four-month campaign period, we developed and published over 800+ pieces of content on Instagram and Facebook, receiving over 10 million social media impressions and 1.3 Million engagements. That meant 1 in every 4 moms who saw the #22Victories campaign engaged with it.
Additionally, we achieved 216 media placements—totaling over 90 million media impressions. Medela's Instagram profile visits increased by 30% during the campaign period. We received a 23% total engagement rate on Medela's owned channels—two times higher than the industry average.
Medela's #22Victories campaign successfully helped Carolina, MJ, and moms across the U.S. get to day 22 of breastfeeding and beyond. And most importantly, we proved to mothers that no matter what happens in the first three weeks, or wherever they are in their journey, there's always a community of moms out there who can help turn a struggle into an unexpected victory—as long as they are willing to reach out and share their stories.