Since 2015, Huggies No Baby Unhugged has been helping all Moms understand the power of hugs and helping all babies get the hugs they need – even if Moms can't be there to give them.
This purpose-led program was foundational in de-positioning Pampers, while delivering an experience that went beyond functional diaper benefits of double leak protection and absorbent liners. Fast forward to 2018, and Pampers advertising had begun to encroach on our emotional positioning through the power of touch. As we embarked on No Baby Unhugged for a third year, we needed to re-assert and further progress our commitment to hugs – showing just how powerful they truly are.
At the same time, close to 20% of women admit to using illicit drugs while pregnant. Sadly, four times as many drug-addicted babies will be born across Canada this year than ten years ago. Unfortunately, government funding for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is on the decline.
We identified the opportunity to introduce No Baby Unhugged hospital volunteers at Nanaimo General Hospital. At this hospital, Huggies would use the power of hugs to help heal babies born with Neonatal Drug Addiction.
While funding from No Baby Unhugged had been quietly benefitting babies born with drug addiction since the beginning, we had always focused our story on those born prematurely and with other kinds of challenges.
This time with our insight, “Loving hugs are medicine,” we would boldly shine a light on newborns who were forced to endure the pain and anxiety of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol.
We created a film that went behind the closed door of Nanaimo General’s isolation nursery. “Behind The Door” captured Huggies No Baby Unhugged hospital volunteers helping to ease the pain of babies born with drug addiction.
As these tiny patients were going through the gut-wrenching process of withdrawal from drugs such as fentanyl and heroin, we captured hugs doing what no medicine or machine could to lessen their anxiety, tremors, sleeplessness and inability to gain weight. Hugs even helped end their unbearable high-pitched screaming.
Our film was centered around the gut-wrenching story of Gillian, a grandmother whose drug- addicted grandchild was almost miraculously healed by the hugs she received at Nanaimo General. All interview footage was unprompted and unscripted.
We released our online film on Huggies’ Facebook page to commemorate International Hugging Day. We knew this emotionally-charged story would especially resonate with our key target: third trimester moms, who not only care deeply about the health of their own babies, but are also deeply sympathetic toward the health and well-being of all babies.