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.
There are many physical and mental factors that play into whether a new mom will be able to reach her breastfeeding goals, but the most daunting barrier is that there is no right way to do it. 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. This emotional strain creates pressures on moms and leaves them feeling inadequate if they are unable to do it.
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. 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 to 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 experience is utterly unique, we needed a campaign that would show the real face of breastfeeding—full of unexpected twists and turns. To achieve this, we wanted to capture the breastfeeding experiences of moms in real-time.
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 they 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. We wanted to leverage our most important asset—the community of moms who have been through the same—by encouraging them to follow along and become a part of MJ and Carolina's support system during their #22Victories journey. To do that, we prompted our community to share their own unique breastfeeding stories and experiences and provide advice as the two moms went through their first 22 days. Our community did not disappoint. 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. Using functionalities such as Question Stickers, we were able to continue to engage our followers through different avenues.
Using Medela's vast library of clinical 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. We shared these educational tips on our social feeds and on Instagram Stories and asked our followers to share their breastfeeding tips and advice.
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' journeys 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 public health 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.