For Plum Organics, the country’s No. 1 organic baby food brand, keeping in touch with parents on a very personal level is its marketing mission.
The brand’s first national advertising campaign, “Parenting Unfiltered,” as its name suggests, is a call to action through print, video, social media and influencers for parents to share their experiences as parents—not just the happy, shiny moments, but the meltdowns, the fights over tablet use and pumping breast milk at work.
“As we looked at the marketing landscape we saw just how disconnected the images and messages were from reality in the baby products industry,” says Ben Mand, senior vice president of brand marketing and innovation, Plum, PBC. “We want parents to recognize that you can have an open conversation about that other 99%. It’s real and if you’re doing your best and you love your little one, you’ve got it. That’s how we arrived at how to resonate with our consumers.”
So, with help from lead agency LeadDog Marketing Group, the idea is to get all shapes and sizes of parents to be vulnerable, to post outtakes instead of that perfect family shot, which all parents know is a fleeting moment in time. Parents are encouraged to share challenges they face and it’s working. The hash tag ParentingUnfiltered has seen nearly 2,000 submissions and counting since the April launch.
The sharing site Tumblr is the hub for ParentingUnfiltered. It’s where the launch video debuted April 30—also on Facebook and YouTube. It shows images all parents can relate to: a new mom back at work using a breast pump at her desk, a baby crying in the night and a mom hiding in the bathroom reading a book. It drew more than 1 million views in the first 48 hours and is now close to 4 million.
“The bulk of all those views are organic,” Mand says.
ParentingUnfiltered.com is an aggregator of influencers, video, comments, long- and short-form content and other information for parents. One section, #UnFilteredFriday pulls together a roundup of some of the team’s favorite unfiltered parenting stories from around the web that week. There’s a place to ask and share questions and badges can be earned and shared like the “Geometry Badge,” earned for arranging seven food groups into an eight-by-six lunch box (with two napkins and a water bottle!).
“The parent badges recognize some of the little things that go on that might not seem like a big win, but for parents it’s a major win,” Mand says.
Plum Organic’s team hand picked seven influencer parenting sites that would represent both moms and dads equally. They include, Doyin, Daddy Doin Work; Jill, Scary Mommy; John, Ask Your Dad and Kristen, Rage Against the Minivan.
The brand strategy is about engagement and conversation.
“There is a moment when mom is searching online about food or when she begins to start breast feeding. At that moment we need to use conversion tactics like coupons, but sales are only part of the equation,” Mand says. “We want to be part of the conversation and not always in sales mode. We recognize we need to show up under their terms, when they need us so someday when they are at the store shelf we are in that consideration when they are thinking about their purchase decision.”
Plum brought in LeadDog last summer. The teams worked together to reconnect the sole of the brand to what the brand was about. It was founded by a group of parents trying to solve problems. Through research the team discovered a number of insights including that parents want to tell the truth about their parenting, if we could make them feel better by sharing it.
“What we had hoped would happen is happening,” says Lisa Hyman, partner and senior vice president of strategy and insights at LeadDog Marketing Group. “When brands are authentic, when consumers participate in the conversation the brand is starting, our hope is that we don’t have to talk much about Plum that people will engage with the brand.”
The idea is to create a halo effect of the brand. That Plum is standing for something, she says.
“We look at this campaign as not just one moment in time, it is our platform going forward,” Mand says. “This is a much more cognizant effort to walk this walk and bring this to life going forward.”