How Playtex Baby discovered new insight through user-born content

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The infant care company tapped into its parental population to drive brand awareness, consumer insights and user-generated content

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a community to raise brand awareness. Infant care product maker Playtex Baby proved this to be true when it tapped into a community of new and prenatal moms to drive awareness, consumer insights, and user-generated content.

Taking its first steps
Playtex Baby wanted to raise awareness for its product and brands among new and expecting mothers. This was especially important because most moms already know what baby products and brands they're going to buy in-store based on reviews and recommendations from family and friends, Melissa Rossi, associate brand manager for parent company Energizer Personal Care, said at the Bazaarvoice Summit in New Orleans.

So earlier this year, Playtex Baby started using Crowdtap's "people-powered marketing platform" to build a community of 7,800 new and prenatal moms. The platform invites members of its network that fit a brand's particular target demographic to participate in discussions, polls, content challenges, and social sharing initiatives.

That was an important baby step, but the brand also wanted to drive meaningful review sampling, generate authentic user-generated content, and identify consumer insight, Rossi explained.

Growing a community
Over three months, Playtex Baby sent its community members samples of its feeding systems, including its bottles and nipple variety packs. The infant care manufacturer and distributor then asked the moms to share pictures and reviews of the products that they sampled.

Not only did this help Playtex Baby's marketing team understand the functional benefits of its products, but it also helped them understand the emotional benefits moms feel during the feeding experience, Rossi said. Playtex Baby then syndicated its reviews to the Bazaarvoice Network to amplify its user-generated content and reviews across brand and retail websites. Rossi made a point to note that Playtex Baby featured both positive and negative reviews.

"That definitely makes it more authentic," she said.

Playtex Baby also used panelists' user-generated content for its paid, earned, and owned marketing. For example, it asked moms to upload pictures of their little loved ones for Valentine's Day and share images of how they bundle up their bundles of joy during the winter months. In addition, Playtex Baby asked its moms questions, such as how they prepared for the baby's arrival in their final days of pregnancy.

"It hasn't been strictly branded [content]," Rossi said.

Going ga-ga over great results
Within three months, Playtex Baby generated 430 reviews. It also received nearly 7,000 pieces of user-generated content and spurred 7.7 million impressions. Additionally, brand familiarity and favorability rose 14% and 21%, respectively. Plus, purchase intent increased 11%.

"We achieved our benchmarks pretty early on," Rossi said. "I'd say within the first month and a half."

Playtex Baby also discovered new insights about its consumers. For instance, 43% of the moms said not having their baby take to the bottle or nipple was their biggest concern when bottle feeding or breastfeeding, and 47% claimed that cleaning the bottles was the biggest opportunity for improved convenience when thinking about their current bottle.

It may have been a crawl-walk-run process, but Playtex Baby's use of community marketing has certainly matured.

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