Six years ago, Procter & Gamble's Pampers brand made a splash with its "1 pack = 1 vaccine" campaign in the U.S., adding the market to a global program intended to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus by 2015.
The campaign, feted by Oprah and heralded by cause-marketing experts, has made Pampers one of UNICEF's biggest corporate donors. And the global vaccination push has helped reduce maternal and neonatal tetanus rates, while growing the Pampers brand, P&G and UNICEF said during an event last week in New York City.
During its partnership with UNICEF, P&G has funded 300 million vaccines and helped eliminate the disease in 14 of the 36 countries it supports. Deaths from the disease also fell globally, from 140,000 in 2006 to 58,000. "It's increased our business, but it's also saved lives," said Matthew Price, VP-baby care for P&G. "It's engaged our customers and frankly it's engaged our employees."
Each year when the cause-marketing push ran, Pampers' ratings from mothers improved, he said. The campaign delivered consistent year-over-year growth in Western Europe, for example. And in some markets, Pampers' market share grew as much as 3% last year. P&G says it's all about simplicity.
The campaign boiled down a complex immunization program to one basic, measurable idea: One pack of diapers bought = one vaccine donated. It is so rudimentary that mothers walking down the grocery aisle can identify with it in the eight seconds it takes them to decide what to buy.
"It's so simple that you cannot escape from it," said Gérard Bocquenet, director-private fundraising and partnerships for UNICEF.
The partnership was set to end in 2015 with the goal of eliminating MNT globally. P&G and UNICEF are in talks to extend their partnership to meet that goal.