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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

UNICEF Parenting Month Digital Activation

Winner in Multi-Platform Campaign, Youth & Family

Finalist in Nonprofit

Audience Honor in Multi-Platform Campaign, Mental Health


The main preventable causes of poor mental health occur in childhood, but they are not inevitable. For this reason, UNICEF called on governments and other stakeholders to act early to support children and caregivers as the best investment in promoting good mental health. During the month of June, UNICEF highlighted one key pillar of our advocacy as part of Parenting Month: the crucial need for universal access to evidence-based parenting support for every family. 

Parenting Month provides an opportunity to rally support around the cause of universal access to parenting support, provide parents with resources, and position UNICEF by raising our visibility and brand recognition, specifically around parents and children.  

Mission: Provide parents with the right support, information, and skills to care for their children that will promote healthy development and help children realize their full potential. 


  1. Parents and caregivers have a greater knowledge of mental health (including self-care) and nurturing caregiving.   

  1. Influence attitudes/intentions of parents and caregivers that lead to positive behavior change around mental health (including self-care) and nurturing caregiving.  

  1. Parents and caregivers around the world know about UNICEF’s Parenting Hub and use it as a trusted source to support their parenting needs.  

Strategy and Execution

UNICEF employed storytelling for advocacy to achieve our advocacy goals. Stories have the power to influence people and move them to action while creating empathy and strengthening connections, and they also provide an opportunity to rally support around a cause.  

Leveraging Parenting Month, during June, UNICEF developed a short film, a documentary video series, collaborations with celebrities, and expert tips and guidance for parents and caregivers on mental health and nurturing caregiving.  

UNICEF promoted this content through the following:  

Content assets:

  1. ‘Sandcastles’ Advocacy film premiere + local screenings​. The film provided a hook to convene stakeholders to build an understanding of complex issues around parenting. This film is about parents and contrasting parenting styles, but it is told through the lens of childhood innocence and simplicity.  

  2. Parenting Hub: Strong parental attachment that provides responsive care, including playful interactions, is the single most significant protective factor in any child's life. That’s why UNICEF teamed up with some of the world’s leading experts to provide a helping hand with science-backed parenting tips and ways that parents can look after their own well-being. 

  3. The social media activation for Parenting Month 2023 focused on providing expert advice to caregivers on three key areas: 1) nurturing caregiving, 2) play, and 3) mental health.  The social media activation aims to ensure that by 2025, children, young people, and caregivers in at least 25 countries demonstrate stronger engagement and behavioral change in promoting and seeking well-being for themselves and others.  

  4. Multimedia content:  

  1. Monitoring: A brand awareness study was run on Meta to measure the effectiveness of the campaign in increasing caregivers’ knowledge and tools to support children’s mental health, as well as confirming UNICEF as a trusted source of information. On UNICEF’s Parenting Hub, user surveys captured feedback on whether users: 1) had improved their knowledge on a topic, and 2) planned to use these tips with their family.  





UNICEF content was shown to social media users 1.7 billion times throughout the activation. 

Video content was viewed more than 205 million times. Across all UNICEF channels and languages, the most viewed content included David Beckham’s video about fatherhood, the story of a South African mother sharing her struggles through motherhood, and Dr. Talib’s series answering common questions from parents worldwide. 

UNICEF's audience provided positive feedback to their messages, with many users displaying uplifted attitudes after engaging with our content. 95% of Parenting Hub respondents to the user survey agreed with “I plan to use these tips.” For example, content on post-partum depression prompted women to share their personal experiences in the comments section and many other users to voice their support for new mothers.  

“Sandcastles” film was screened across regions and won an honorable mention in the Best Director - Short Fiction category at the London Director Awards and an Official Selection at Hollywood Shortsfest. 


Video for UNICEF Parenting Month Digital Activation

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