Friel and Jamelia don T-shirts for Tommy's

Maternity label Séraphine approached baby charity Tommy's last year with an idea for a fundraising T-shirt featuring a baby-scan print over the ‘bump'.

Campaign Baby T-shirt
Client Tommy's
PR team In-house
Timescale May-November 2005
Budget £1,000

The charity's PR team liked the idea so much that it set out to recruit a celebrity to promote the T-shirt.

To boost awareness of Tommy's and raise £50,000 to fund its pregnancy information line, as well as research into the prevention of premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth.

Strategy and Plan
The target were pregnant women, their partners, family, friends and health professionals. The PR team felt the campaign could only generate sufficient coverage via some form of celebrity endorsement. Actress Anna Friel, who had recently announced her pregnancy, agreed to promote the T-shirt.

Friel launched the campaign last May after Tommy's secured a double-page slot in The Times and Grazia. To get other publications on board, Tommy's rolled out a follow-up campaign, this time with R&B artist Jamelia. The pregnant singer was photographed in a long-sleeved winter version of the T-shirt.

Measurement and Evaluation
National newspaper coverage of the  Friel shoot included The Times, The Sun and London Metro. She also appeared in Mother & Baby, Junior Pregnancy & Birth, Pregnancy and Closer. Jamelia was pictured in Practical Parenting, Prima Baby and Hello!, among other women's titles.

Jamelia stole the online coverage, with articles on the BBC and ITN websites, and the PA newswire. Local newspaper interest was extensive, including pieces in the Dunstable Gazette, Wrexham Evening Leader, the Gloucester News, the Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Post and Hull Daily Mail.

More than 2,000 T-shirts have been sold so far, beating the £50,000 target. Because the charity's main awareness-raising campaign, National Pregnancy Week, was in September, it has been difficult to attribute results to the Friel/Jamelia effort. However, Tommy's says it is 'very happy' with the initiative in terms of coverage, awareness-raising and fundraising.

The Friel shoot generated more press coverage than Jamelia's, probably because it launched the campaign. However, the Jamelia shoot generated more pieces in regional press.

An unexpected bonus was when Fame Academy judge Carrie Grant wore one of the T-shirts on ITV's This Morning. The PR team had sent some shirts to pregnant celebrities in the hope they would be photographed wearing them, but a TV appearance was more than they had expected.

Freelance journalist Marianne MacDonald, who interviewed Friel for The Times, says it is common for celebrities to give interviews on the basis of promoting a charity. 'We didn't have a problem with it; Anna was delightful.

She had these horrific pregnancy tumours on her gums but still gave us quite a lot of time at a late stage in her pregnancy, which I thought was quite altruistic of her,' she says.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in