Huggies: Grasping Their Audience by Warming Hearts

LaurenHarburn    July 6, 2016

New Trends in Marketing

Some people today will tell you that traditional marketing is dead – killed off by social media and the redistribution of power from marketers to the consumers. With technology we are able to find out for ourselves which brands are superior; we don’t need to be bombarded by ads to be persuaded we can simply read online reviews, blog posts, feeds etc. or ask our friends and family. We are even able to block digital ads from reaching us as we peruse our favourite sites. Consumers are literally outcompeting marketers for each other’s attention – according to Forrester Research 70% of people trust brand recommendations from friends and only 10% trust advertising. Personally, I agree. This is the end of marketing as we have known it; ads full of purely self-serving content merely get overlooked these days.

Enter Content Marketing. This is when companies provide valuable and interesting information to their target audience and the consumers can’t help but to read or watch and take notice. The strategy behind it is to produce useful and relevant information to buyers who will then reward the company with business and loyalty. It’s no longer about marketing your brand but rather marketing an experience with your brand and reaching people on an emotional level before they make their purchasing decisions. This isn’t exactly a new marketing technique but a growing trend with 92% of marketers using it to increase brand awareness according to the Content Marketing Institute. One company that has this marketing tactic down pat is Huggies the maker of diapers, wipes, swim pants and training pants. Their target market is huge and they do a fantastic job of connecting with them and keeping them engaged. They even have a large following from women who don’t need their products yet – moms to be! Here’s how they do it…

Huggies Connects with it’s Audience

Huggies has a very large and loyal number of consumers and they have also been able to target a market that doesn’t even buy their products yet – this audience is comprised of mothers to be. Huggies wanted to be able to reach these women and engage them before they had their babies so that there was an emotional connection before they made their purchase decisions. The key to doing so successfully was to create authentic content that would resonate with new moms  – the viral video that they created triggered an emotional response in plenty of expectant mothers and really anyone with a soul. Huggies teamed up with Baby Center to reach out to expectant moms and collect stories about their upcoming family additions to use in their video content. One story stood out among the rest; a first time mom who wanted her sister to be able to meet her new nephew but she couldn’t afford to travel to do so. Huggies ended up surprising the new mom with the arrival of her sister in the delivery room and captured it all on film to create a video viewed by millions.

Obviously, it takes more than just creating an awesome heart felt video to gain the loyalty of customers. You need the right people to share the video that have a voice and will engage others who are part of the same target audience. To do so, Huggies put the video on YouTube as well as Facebook  and incentivized sharing of the video through offering coupons for money off diapers. Another part of this campaign included donating diapers to the National Diaper Bank Network to help babies in need every time someone used the hashtag #HugsDelivered.

The “No Baby Unhugged” Initiative

Huggies created another campaign called the No Baby Unhugged initiative to create awareness of the scientifically proven physical and emotional benefits that skin to skin contact has on new born babies. Because of this fairly recent discovery hospital neonatal intensive care units are increasingly integrating hugging programs in an environment that in the past has had a greater focus on technology and medicine. Hugging programs consist of volunteers that are available for cuddling with babies who need to spend time in NICU units and can’t have their mothers with them 24/7. A study conducted by the Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) revealed that 100% of hospitals that did not already have a hugging program were interested in starting one. Huggies created the initiative in response to this and they are raising awareness as well as showing parents optimal hugging techniques. Their goal is to donate $100,000 to hospitals across Canada so that these programs can be implemented – every time a new mom uploads a picture of themselves hugging their little one to  Huggies makes a donation. This gives moms the opportunity to share pictures of their babies while contributing to a great cause  – who doesn’t love that!?

Lessons for Others

It’s clear that Huggies has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to delivering content that shares an experience to their target markets. The videos created are stories from real people sharing some of the most raw moments of parenthood which resonates strongly with anyone who has children or is expecting. The authenticity of the stories allows people to easily relate emotionally and want to be part of the campaigns because it’s such a feel good cause. Mom’s (or Dad’s) can do their part to contribute while also receiving discounts on a product name that they now trust. As the old saying goes, people love to buy but hate to be sold. Content marketing such as this takes the “sold” feeling out of the buying process and allows the consumers to build trust with the brand – even before they begin buying their products!

The sound clip below is an interview with Mickey Daye who is the Manager of Maternal Child Services at the Regional Hospital in Cape Breton Regional Hospital in which he discusses the implementation of their hugging program.

Industry: Baby and Toddler
Name of Organization Contact: Maria Henry, CEO of Kimberly-Clark

Authored by: Lauren Harburn

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


Botelho, C. (2014, January 31). 15 Brands That Rock At Content Marketing To Moms. Retrieved July 06, 2016, from

Marketing Is Dead. Long Live Social Media. (2015, November 12). Retrieved July 06, 2016, from

Matthews, K. (n.d.). Huggies Case Study: How to Elicit Natural Storytelling for Maximum Impact. Retrieved July 05, 2016, from

Weinstein, D. (2015, September 17). Huggies Brand No Baby Unhugged Initiative Shares Science Behind Hugging Babies, Helps Hospitals Implement Hugging Programs. Retrieved July 06, 2016, from