Campaigns: Healthcare - Colic drive piques parents' curiosity

Campaign: A Problem Shared
Client: Colief Infant Drops
PR team: Pegasus
Timescale: January 2008-May 2009
Budget: Less than £50,000

Colief Infant Drops were launched in the UK eight years ago. The drops help treat excessive crying or colic in infants. The brand has to constantly attract new customers as parents no longer need the product once their baby passes the colic age, typically at four months.


- To raise awareness of excessive crying and colic

- To secure media coverage outside of parenting titles

- To drive visitors to the campaign website

- To drive sales of Colief Infant Drops.

Strategy and plan

The theme of the campaign was 'a problem shared', to motivate parents to ask partners, family and healthcare professionals to help them cope with an excessively crying baby.

Rugby World Cup winner and new dad Ben Cohen was recruited as an ambassador to describe his personal experiences of colic with his twin daughters.

The PR team launched the campaign by recreating with Cohen the iconic Athena L'Enfant image, featuring a bare-chested man cradling a baby.

The image was chosen as it is instantly recognisable. Using a father as the face of the campaign created a different media angle and generated debate, because the majority of parenting campaigns focus on mothers.

A partnership was set up with crying baby charity Cry-sis to add credibility and provide expert spokespeople.

A website was set up for the campaign, with links to Cry-sis, to act as an information resource for parents.

Influential websites and bloggers were targeted and a Facebook page was set up for the campaign.

A branded consumer guide was put together with relationship counsellor Paula Hall, offering advice to mums and dads on how to cope with babies in the first few weeks. The guide was made available on the web and hard copies were distributed to GPs' surgeries.

A survey of 3,000 dads was carried out to generate media hooks around men's attitudes and approaches to baby care. The results were released to coincide with Father's Day and school holidays.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign secured more than 50 items of coverage in the first six months alone.

It generated an exclusive full-page launch in the Daily Mail and was discussed on BBC Breakfast News and ITV's Loose Women.

Interviews with Cohen appeared in Fabulous magazine, Hello, Glamour, Reveal, Love It, Sun Woman online and numerous websites. The campaign was widely covered in parenting media.


Visits to the campaign website peaked at 22,000 at launch and the site still attracts an average of 700 visits a day.

More than 6,000 copies of the consumer guide were requested via the Cry-sis helpline and GPs' surgeries.

The brand saw a double-digit growth in sales.


Who doesn't remember the original iconic image? It was burned into the memory of every teenage girl in the 1980s-1990s.

I love this clever campaign - not only is this an image that is instantly recognisable and incredibly engaging, but it also communicates a key message of the campaign. It takes the story away from just being about the mother - to being about both parents.

I also like the fact that the image is not just a photographic representation of the campaign. It IS the campaign. The way in which the image has been seamlessly integrated into every element of the programme and leveraged in different ways, according to the vehicle or particular audience, is well done. The campaign feels very cohesive; it reaches parents via multiple channels, each pulling together slightly different elements. It also has some longevity.

I would be interested to know what research was done before starting the campaign to point towards the direction that was taken - and how this information dictated the way the campaign was pulled together. A clear understanding of your target audience is crucial to the success of any activity, and it would be good to see how this was applied.

The combination of one simple and clever concept, combined with a well thought out, multi-channel campaign, is at the heart of its success and the clever integration of the image works on many levels. The campaign demonstrates the power of one really good idea.

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