The insight connecting Pampers’ #ShareTheLove and Huggies #ParentFaming

When I say ‘diapers’, which brand comes to your mind? Huggies, from Kimberly-Clark? Or Pampers, from Procter & Gamble?

Between last week and this, both the global diapers brands have launched advertising campaigns that are almost a mirror-image of each other!

Pampers launched a US-centric campaign called #SharetheLove. Conceptualized by the agency McKinney (Durham), the insight comes from Pampers’ own survey (of 500 U.S. moms) and another unknown survey (of 1,011 mothers in the U.S. and Canada). According to the surveys, 9 out of 10 moms worry that they aren’t doing a good enough job, and many moms claim to be their own worst critic (86%). So, Pampers’ Share The Love campaign aims to initiate a discussion around being kinder to oneself and to start a positive conversation around motherhood instead of second-guessing themselves.

The money-shot in the ad goes, “Imagine if we see ourselves the way our babies see us”. That is very powerful, on the back of voiceover from babies telling their mothers how good they are.

Across the globe, Huggies launched a campaign called ‘Be comfortable in your own skin‘, conceptualized by Ogilvy. The insight here is that the moms rate themselves very harshly for doing a very poor job of looking after their kids, but their partners, families and the kids themselves rate the moms very, very high.

The Huggies campaign aims to start a national movement that encourages people to ‘parent-fame’ not ‘parent-shame’ and to celebrate a diverse range of parents and parenting styles.

Both campaigns’ insights reminded me of Ogilvy’s famous Dove campaign (You are more beautiful than you think) where women rate themselves poorly on how they look, while a police sketch artist draws them (without seeing them, and only through 2 kinds of descriptions – one by the women herself and the second by a stranger) in 2 different ways.

The focus on both campaigns is to make the mother feel good about herself and both brands come to that conclusion through different tactics in their communication. While Pampers comes to that via the (imaginary) feedback from the babies, Huggies comes to that via the direct feedback from the mom’s partners, families and actual children themselves. These operate as the narrative device of both brands’ communication too – the babies are made to verbalize their praise in the Pampers campaign, while partners, families and kids verbalize it in the Huggies campaign.

And it is a sheer coincidence that both campaigns have launched literally at the same time, in 2 different countries!