Huggies goes skin deep for new product launch

The brand's "No Baby Unhugged" platform is being used to show how its new plant-based diaper helps a baby's sensitive skin.

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At the beginning of August, Huggies will launch Special Delivery, a new line of diapers designed to be more comfortable and softer through the use of plant-based materials like sugarcane and not using harsh chemicals. With a product that it believes has a clear benefit for sensitive skin, Huggies is supporting the Canadian launch by utilizing a long-running program built around thinking about what touches a baby’s skin.

Since 2015, Huggies has run the “No Baby Unhugged” program, providing NICUs in hospitals across Canada with grants to help them open “hugging centres” for newborns, with creative support outlining the emotional and health benefits babies get from skin-to-skin contact.

Next week, new creative in the program will be released across all major platforms in support of Special Delivery’s launch, including TV, digital video, in-store and social, along with an influencer program. The creative zeroes in on the fact that all babies are born with sensitive skin that takes up to two years to develop, putting forward the idea that Special Delivery are “perfect” for that skin, just like skin-to-skin hugs.

While “plant-based” products in other categories tend to focus on the environmental benefits of reducing materials like plastic, Nadia Malowany, brand team leader for Huggies at Kimberly-Clark, says the brand is focusing more on the benefits of Special Delivery when it comes to a baby’s sensitive skin. While part of the communication will focus on things that are typical in the diaper category – things like performance and leak protection – Malowany says bringing that together into a single product that also addresses skin sensitivity is something that will help it stand out in the category.

“We haven’t seen any competitor offer a diaper that has all of these features and benefits,” Malowany says. “We’re taking all of the great features you see across the market, and bringing them into one, so parents don’t feel like they have to choose something that could be a compromise for their babies.”

Huggies Special DeliveryThe U.S. marketing program supporting the launch of Special Delivery will, for the first time, prominently feature dads in creative. But Malowany says, over the four years Huggies has run “No Baby Unhugged” in Canada, it has steadily added greater representation of fathers, particularly around occasions like Father’s Day, emphasizing the benefits that come from a dad’s skin-to-skin contact. What is different now is that dads will also be featured on three of the packages for Special Delivery, which also show them hugging babies and getting skin-to-skin contact, bringing a focus on representing all parents with what has become Huggies’ big brand idea in Canada.

“We are always striving to ensure the program represents diversity of all parents in Canada,” Malowany says. “When we first started featuring dads in our consumer communications, we saw a ton of great response, particularly in social media. Our brand equity studies tell us we are pointed in the right direction, both when it comes to including dads and ‘No Baby Unhugged’ as a whole. We’re seeing great ROI year-over-year on the program across channels. We are pointed in the right direction with this program.”