Ad Nut
Feb 25, 2020

Huggies wants parents to get 'faming', not shaming

An online film with a 'performance review' setup has a powerful message for parents and those who judge them. Too bad the TVC in this Australia campaign fails to amplify it.

The above online film from Huggies and Ogilvy for the Australia market follows the format of a 360-degree performance review for a group of moms. All of them rate themselves harshly before getting overwhelmingly positive feedback from their family members. 

Even though we've come to recognise the Dove 'Real sketches' format by now, the film is no less moving. Parenting is difficult to begin with (or "a lot of hard yakka", as one dad in the film colloquially puts it). Every parent who's worth a damn second-guesses themselves on a daily basis. Multiple times on a daily basis, actually. Then, as the film points out, parents get added pressure from media advice. Even worse, they get uninvited and judgmental input from people who don't hesitate to tell them, either via social media or in real-life encounters, precisely how they're fucking the whole thing up and leaving their kids scarred for life. 

Ad Nut has a few thoughts for the type of person who gives this kind of advice, but has already used up the allowed number of F-bombs in this piece. Ad Nut's opinion is that the only things kids absolutely need (beyond physical needs) are need unconditional love, empathy, intellectual stimulation and reasonable modeling of charitable behavior toward others. Provide those and they're probably gonna be OK. Try not to obsess about everything else. The Huggies film does a great job of showing that the brand gets this.

Unfortunately, the TVC for the campaign takes a different approach and kind of fails to amplify the message:

This is an example of telling when you should have chosen showing. Although Ad Nut can understand the brand's desire to deliver a positive message directly, a condensed version of the performance review format could have worked better by delivering more emotional heft. Ad Nut is also not a fan of the brand's tagline 'Be Comfortable in Your Skin’, which seems to fit neither nappies nor this content.

The campaign, which began Sunday, includes PR by OPR and paid media through Mindshare. OPR commissioned a national survey about the scale and impact of parent-shaming, and the campaign has enlisted psychologist Sabina Read and celebrity mum Snezana Wood help promote discussion of the mental toll of parent-shaming. Mindshare is driving the campaign through TV, BVOD and online video, and there's a content partnership with the publishers of Mamamia.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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