Mars Wrigley is the latest advertiser to take a more frank and honest look at breastfeeding in a new Maltesers campaign from the U.K. that focuses on mothers' mental health.
Two new TV spots, which break on International Women's Day but also debut in the run-up to U.K. Mother's Day this Sunday, show new moms sharing their frustration over feeding their babies with friends, in a humorous way that also acknowledges their difficulties. In one, a woman crushes a Malteser with her foot in frustration over her uneven milk supply, while in another a feeding mother experiences some leakage while her mother-in-law tries to "help."
The brand also produced some social ads that highlight the "lighter" and "darker" sides of mothering, acknowledging that sometimes it's OK to ask for help, and aim to break down some of the taboos around mental health issues for mothers.
The ads, created by AMV BBDO and directed by Partizan's Ally Pankiw, were inspired by conversations with real-life mothers. The campaign is part of a partnership between Mars Wrigley and Comic Relief, the U.K. charity.
Maltesers' campaign follows hot on the heels of commercials from Frida Mom and Tommee Tippee that also took a frank look at breastfeeding. And its focus on mental health looks particularly timely, given the revelations from Meghan Markle today during her Oprah interview, about her mental health during her pregnancy.
"Be it our own experiences or the experiences of our friends, family or partners, we know that maternal mental health impacts so many women during and after pregnancy. However, it is rarely talked about and widely considered taboo," said Maltesers Brand Director Leah Dycke, in a statement.
"Our culture conditions people to have strong opinions on what is acceptable and not acceptable for women to feel while being a mother," added Polina Zabrodskaya, executive creative director, AMV BBDO. "The more you are pressured to act blissfully happy, the harder it becomes to reach out for support. We hope this campaign helps to normalize the experiences so many women go through. We were lucky to have such a knowledgeable team of experts working with us closely and a female director pushing for what’s true and what’s real.”