20 Actions in 20 Days
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has called on the entire nation to take 20 concrete action steps from the January 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding to support the removal of barriers to breastfeeding. The United States Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a “20 Actions in 20 Days” campaign to highlight these action steps and implementation strategies.
Action 5: Create a national campaign to promote breastfeeding.
Though several independent organizations, states, advocates and municipalities have developed social marketing campaigns to support and increase breastfeeding practices, there remains a need for a strong, long-term education campaign that is both culturally sensitive and appropriate to promote breastfeeding nationwide. The Surgeon General recommends that the campaign be developed and implemented using established social marketing practices and sustained over a prolonged period for maximum reach. In addition, it is recommended that the campaign utilize new technologies including social media in addition to traditional means such as television and print media.
Below are some examples of past and current campaigns that support breastfeeding from across the globe. Some focus heavily on health information, while others depend on striking – and in some cases controversial – visuals. Which do you like best? Which do you hate? Which do you think would be most effective? Have you seen others? Let us know!
- Babies Were Born to be Breastfed – This national breastfeeding campaign by the federal Office of Women’s Health was created in partnership with the Advertising Council to promote breastfeeding among first-time parents who would not normally breastfeed. The campaign pairs humorous, albeit provacative, visuals with specific benefits of breastfeeding and aims to empower women to breastfeed through print, radio and TV PSAs. One of the print advertisements (below) featuring ice cream as a tie-in to obesity, while two others featuring dandelions and otoscopes. The campaign stressed exclusive breastfeeding for six months and ran from 2004-2005.
- Best for Babes – Launched in 2009 by the Best for Babes Foundation, this ongoing campaing has been featured in Fit Pregnancy, Mom & Baby Magazine and USA today. The campaign was developed to foster a cultural acceptance and appreciation for breastfeeding and to reduce barriers, or “booby traps,” that inhibit mothers from reaching their breastfeeding goals. The fresh, provocative layout features a woman’s silhouetted torso with pithy headlines sprawled across the bust. View the Economic Stimulus Packages ad below, as well as two additional ads – Life-Saving Devices and The Miracle Isn’t the Bra.
- Breastmilk. Every Ounce Counts. The Texas Department of State Health Services WIC Program unveiled this campaign in 2011, which features an interactive website brimming with breastfeeding resources, TV and Radio PSAs, and billboards. On the website, mothers can share their stories or ask advice, as well as send customizable birth announcements and download a lullaby album.
- Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work – The USDA’s breastfeeding campaign, which is national in scope but implemented at the state level via WIC, aims to help women feel comfortable breastfeeding, work breastfeeding into a busy schdule, and involve family and friends as supportive and active players in successful breastfeeding practices. Promotional pamphlets and posters are available free online for printing and distribution and feature a variety of races and ethnicities.
- Be A Star – The Be A Star breastfeeding campaign out of the U.K. promotes women who breastfeed as “stars” and positioning breasteeding as a hip cultural norm. The “stars” of the campaign are real, local breastfeeding moms made over to resemble models, celebrities, singers and actresses with headlines reading, “She’s not a Celebrity. She’s a Star.” The campaign recognizes the importance of key influencers such as their parents, partners and friends. Broad-ranging materials such as posters, pamphlets, blogs, radio and outdoor advertising, newspapers for dads-to-be and new dads, and community engagement packs for local retailers, cafes and community venues to become breastfeeding friendly were developed for the effort, which began in 2008.
- Breastfeeding is Natural – New Zealand’s Ministry of Health launched a breastfeeding campaign in 2009 to promote breastfeeding while also normalizing breastfeeding in public. The advertisements feature photos of women breastfeeding in commonplace locations, such as the library or airport, with accompanying clever headlines that hint at the infant’s future occupation. The text for each ad reads, “Wherever they’re heading, a healthy start in life will help them get there. In the community and the workplace, breastfeeding is natural. Prefectly natural.” View the print advertisements via Photobucket here.