A new ad campaign is making waves with its innovative way of promoting breastfeeding. The campaign is doling out produce freshness-like stickers that moms can wear (ostensibly on their breasts!) that extol the various benefits of breastfeeding.
The campaign, created by Charlotte, North Carolina, ad agency BooneOakley, also includes posters of close-ups of various breasts with the stickers on them.
You have to love any campaign that looks to spread the word of the benefits of breastfeeding. And we're all about finding creative and new ways to do so. In that vein, we applaud the folks at BooneOakley for coming up with this campaign. They also very intentionally chose to show a diversity of "real" breasts (though we don't see any sporting some stretch marks!), which, kudos to that.
(These photos have been cropped to make them "safe for work")
Their desire to help normalize not only breastfeeding but breasts as well is wonderful. While technically these ads are considered NSFW, the idea behind them is to stop sexualizing breasts and to promote one of their biological functions. Love that. The more we can normalize this super-normal activity, the better! And the health messages they include are really great as well. According to its website, BooneOakley is offering both stickers and posters to any "baby-friendly" hospital free of charge.
The stickers definitely play to the idea of produce, as they're labeled "locally grown" (hilarious!), "guaranteed fresh" (oh so true!) and "100% Natural" (insert record scratch noise here). The last one just doesn't sit well, however.
Language matters, and when "natural" is tossed around, it makes you think of what the opposite is, and it's usually "artificial" or "toxic." In this case, the most common alternative to breastfeeding is using formula, and while we can't deny the awesome power of breast milk and hope every woman feels encouraged and supported to breastfeed if they choose to, we don't love that this ad campaign unwittingly plays into the ages-old Mommy War of breast vs. formula.
There needs to be a way in which we can promote breastfeeding without denigrating formula and those who choose to use it. The breastfeeding advocate in me says kudos to BooneOakley for taking the initiative to create a breastfeeding campaign (this was entirely created in-house and not for a client) that is innovative and eye-catching, but the mom who is over the massive piles of parenting judgment wishes we could do away with the word "natural" so we stop dividing women.
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