|Title||6 MONTHS | BREASTMILK IS ALL YOU NEED|
|Brand||SAVE THE CHILDREN / UNICEF / ALIVE & THRIVE|
|Product / Service||EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING|
|Category||B02. Non-profit / Foundation-led Education & Awareness|
|Entrant||BRIDGE Yangon, MYANMAR|
|Idea Creation||BRIDGE Yangon, MYANMAR|
|Media Placement||BRIDGE Yangon, MYANMAR|
|Media Placement 2||VERO Yangon, MYANMAR|
|PR||VERO Yangon, MYANMAR|
|Production||BRIDGE Yangon, MYANMAR|
|Production 2||PLATFORM Yangon, MYANMAR|
|Tim Mitzman||Bridge||Managing Director|
|Donald Eastwood||Bridge||Creative Director|
|Nanda Maw Lin||Bridge||Creative Director|
|Haanee Tybally||Bridge||Account Manager|
|Karen Vinalay||Bridge||Art Director|
|Nyein Thu||Bridge||Art Director|
|Yin Yin Oo||Bridge||Copywriter|
|Shin Min Aung||Bridge||Graphic Designer|
|Saw Min Maw||Platform||Producer/Director|
|Vicky Nway||Platform||Post Production|
|Htet Htet Aung||Platform||Editor|
|Raphael Lachkar||Vero||Director, ASEAN|
|Mra Than||Vero||Strategic Planner|
|Kaung Su (Moon)||Vero||Influencer Specialist|
|Andy Nilsen||Save the Children||Director of Campaigns|
|Soe Nyi Nyi||Save the Children||Techical advisor|
|Thelma Tun Thein||Save the Children||Lactation specialist|
|Hedy Ip||UNICEF||Nutrition advisor|
|Hnin Su Mon||UNICEF||C4D Specialist|
|Jenn Cashin||Alive & Thrive||Regional technical specialist|
|Mra Than||Vero||Strategic Planner|
The #6la campaign combined mass-media awareness through PR, social, influencer marketing and TV placement, with targeted behaviour change interventions, including placement at key formula touchpoints in supermarkets and hospitals, timely personal activation when mothers most need it, wearable commitment pledges for supporters and mothers and persistent, long-tail engagement through the app. All parts aligned to a new public health brand and messaging, that the government could—and did—take on afterwards. We personally told mothers not to feel alone protecting and breastfeeding their child, and then our celebrities, businesses, health facilities and almost 40,000 latpat wearers showed them their support.
Under 2014 WHO-backed Myanmar legislation—advocated by organisations including those behind this campaign—formula brands cannot: promote formula to under-2s; indicate equivalence to breastmilk; contact potential customers, provide samples or communicate nutritional advice; and must label in Burmese, stating that breastmilk is best. Sadly, compliance is slow and rules are being bent.
We targeted mothers, mothers-to-be and their supporters—husbands, friends, sisters, grandmothers and health professionals. Controversial formula tactics include hospital gifts, buying up nutritional experts and unmarked in-article advertising in health resources. With activations where midwives supported hospital staff and Myanmar’s best-known doctor we drove 2500+ app registrations by health professionals alone.
In Myanmar, 1 in 20 children die before reaching five and 1 in 3 are stunted—a condition caused by undernutrition with irreversible effects on physical growth and cognitive development. Optimal breastfeeding has the greatest impact on child survival of all preventive interventions, reducing infant mortality by 14 times over formula, and providing complete and optimal nutrition before 6 months. But just 38% of children exclusively breastfed to 6 months, while $15m+ is spent annually marketing breastmilk substitutes. In the face of this unprecedented growth in formula marketing, three global organisations working in maternal health and child’s rights joined forces to commission a new kind of integrated exclusive breastfeeding campaign. Mothers were our heroes, but it should not be up to them alone. Instead we would build a wider culture of support: from family, friends, health professionals, companies and communities all forming healthy, supportive social norms around their decision.
Taking on established formula brands required a brand for exclusive breastfeeding itself. Adapting the breastfeeding symbol, our brand mark formed an iconic breastfeeding mother from the Burmese characters #6la (6 moons/months), accompanied by an easier definition of ‘exclusive’. Families want health, happiness and intelligence for their child. Unsurprisingly, formula marketing evokes these aspirations in pseudo-scientific marks like IQ++ or immuno-guard. So we condensed breastfeeding’s myriad benefits into six pillars to habitulise its proven superior qualities across all media. The uniquely Burmese ‘hardiest’ joined healthiest, happiest and smartest, and pillars supporting social confirmation and justifying ‘exclusive’. The dry science unpinning these pillars was given more universal appeal in quizzes that our six celebrities took while caring for a baby—as expected of a mother. Shown making mistakes, learning, having fun and sometimes improvising movingly about their own breastfeeding experiences—all while soothing the baby—they modelled the supportive behaviour we sought.
Beyond awareness and establishing the public health platform, changing feeding behaviours would require integrated behavioural strategies. The Burmese custom of wearing latpats (bracelets) to protect newborns was adapted into commitment bracelets as wearable pledges for mothers and supporters. Activation teams with trained midwives visited mothers in participating hospitals in the days after birth (when behaviour is established) and at prenatal groups (when intentions are being formed). Accompanying latpats were monthly breastfeeding advice cards, in-person activation on our partner mHealth app for deeper, persistent, daily support aligned to the age of the child, and supporter latpat packs to give their circle. This support circle was championed across all media by five celebrities, embodying the archetypal friend, husband, sister, grandmother, and doctor who can shape a supportive norm. Singer Sung Thin Par was our hero mother and exclusively breastfed her daughter throughout the campaign, reaching 6 months on our final day.
With little media budget, we relied on the power of the movement to persuade. It helped earn us coverage in 151 publications. It signed up over 27,000 to our mHealth App for gamified educational content. To the six celebrities that joined our cause in films, quizzes, posters, launch and activations, we added 35 further top-tier names, posting to 4.5m followers and appearing on TV and radio. Myanmar’s largest retailer and largest bank joined, each announcing their first breastfeeding rooms, displaying entrance and till messaging to 8.9m+ customers in 38 supermarkets where all staff wore supporter latpats, and looping films in over 500 bank branches. Myanmar Idol and the biggest morning show invited us on. Crucially, 25 major hospitals displayed #6la films and posters in waiting rooms, and gave us access to activate 1 in 4 mothers giving birth in Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw over the 3-month campaign.
Within a fraction of the budget and time, our brand achieved more saliency (19% unaided|60% aided) than all but three formula brands. Our PR value ($197k) paid for the campaign alone. Social engagement figures (1.9m+) were higher than the 15-40 female population of our target cities, while total reach (18.2m) exceeded the adult population 2.5x over. Mothers who felt supported by their husbands increased from 16% to 45% and those who felt nobody supported them dropped from 30% to 18%. Most importantly, activated mothers tested over 6 months showed a 64% increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates. The #6la brand grew beyond this, as other major international organisations commissioned extensions from Eastern Shan to the Rakhine IDP camps. This has culminated in Ministry of Health & Sports adoption as the official public health brand for exclusive breastfeeding in Myanmar, with campaigning and behaviour change through a supportive social norm planned nationwide.