Sudocrem Play More Campaign

Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream is the market leader in the nappy rash market with a strong heritage spanning 85 years. It’s trusted by generations of parents, however it’s firmly associated with babies’ bottoms and we were challenged to broaden its appeal.

We responded with a campaign combining parent education, key opinion leader support, news creation, corporate social responsibility and social media engagement.

With just one week to research and develop the idea, and less than a month to implement, we rolled-up our sleeves and got thinking…

Where did we start?

Our starting point involved researching the lifestyles of pre-school children. What did they do? How did they play and what issues could we potentially address?

Media research showed that the average British child spends 45.5 hours a week in front of a TV screen compared to a mere 5 hours on outdoor play. In an era where childhood obesity has more than tripled in the UK and children are exercising less and less, shouldn’t we  encourage children to play more?

Could Sudocrem help to champion outdoor play and, in doing so, stretch the appeal of the brand from babies to children?

Identifying a need…

Since we needed to appeal to parents, especially mums with nursery-age children, we needed to understand the stumbling blocks. Why weren’t parents encouraging their children to play outside and what could we do to engage them?

We conducted research amongst 2,000 parents, which provided some interesting insights including:

  • 62% felt they were more protective of their children than previous generations
  • 57% believed it was safer to play outside when they were younger
  • 35% were concerned about play facilities on offer in nurseries and schools

This suggested that parents needed to be more confident about allowing their children to play outside. But advice alone wouldn’t do the trick – we had to deliver something tangible.

With just two days to go before presenting our ideas, we worked until the early hours researching pre-school nurseries. What we discovered provided the key element of the campaign. Of the nurseries we contacted, half said that their outdoor play area was poorly landscaped and the equipment was old, damaged or broken.

The need was identified: our big idea would raise the issue of ‘cotton wool parenting’, it would promote the health benefits of outdoor play, and it would give something back by improving facilities.

PLAY MORE – a big idea with a big heart

We chose 4th July as our launch day because we wanted to promote greater playtime independence. It was time to swap the iPads for spacehoppers!

We enlisted the help of a leading play psychologist Lindsey Ip, who provided the rationale for outdoor play and address parental concerns. We booked a radio studio so she could be interviewed live about the campaign and we coined the term ‘cotton wool parenting’, using highlights from our original research to create the news hook.

We offered renovation grants and new toys to nurseries and asked them to share their stories. The most deserving were chosen to receive a PLAY MORE award, including nurseries hit by floods, vandalism and even arson.  Having identified the Rachel McMillan Nursery in Greenwich as the first nursery in the UK to promote the health benefits of outdoor play over 100 years ago, we asked them to join our campaign and photographed the children playing outside in their PLAY MORE T shirts. Head teacher Theresa Lane provided a selection of games and ideas to make children more active.

In order to create a strong visual element, we worked with the children’s mural artist Joy Pirkle to create a special PLAY MORE mural, which was offered to one nursery. Joy has already worked with GP surgeries to promote healthy eating with an engaging series of murals.

Time frame

4th July to 31st August.

Summary of our objectives

  • To broaden the appeal of Sudocrem from babies to children
  • To win key opinion leader support
  • To build caring brand credentials
  • To help drive sales

What did PLAY MORE achieve?

  • Within four weeks, the campaign had secured more than 100 items of coverage including the UK’s favourite parenting community Netmums.
  • We reached an audience of 19.7 million.
  • We received 1000 entries from nurseries across the UK.
  • Key opinion leaders from child psychologist Lindsey Ip to Professor Robert Winston supported the campaign.
  • Sales of Sudocrem increased by 5% during the duration of the campaign.