World Breastfeeding Week
Social campaigns for donation of expressed breast milk – Ministry of Health Services – Brazilian Government
|2008 – Camila Pitanga (actress)||Donate expressed milk, life thanks you.|
|2009 – Samara Fillipo (actress)||Donate expressed breast milk, life thanks you.|
The posters aim:
- Valuing (and even glamourizing) breastfeeding;
- Enlightening the benefits for both mother and child;
- Emphasizing the advantages of breast milk;
- Expressly recommending exclusive breastfeeding until the baby is six months old;
- Calling for the responsibility of all of the people involved: father, other relatives, employer.
Important, worthy, opportune, necessary, amazing, inspiring: all of those things were more than revered in those campaigns. However, there are other aspects beyond the UNQUESTIONABLE example of beautiful social marketing campaign, which deserve an analysis.
The poster in 2010 calls for attention because it is the first in a series, for 12 years, that shows mothers who are not celebrities. Also, there is a black person as the central figure. Images of breastfeeding are essentially “white”; the exception is Isabel Fillardis, in 2001.
Another new thing in 2010 is the presence of pregnant women, i.e., breastfeeding is an attitude to be embraced early in gestation.
The third different feature is the breastfeeding mother looking at the baby (even if in the smaller picture). Mostly, mothers are not looking at the babies, but at the spectator, reinforcing the appeal, when they act as spokespeople of the campaign (the exception is the poster with Vanessa Lóes and the ones for milk donation). This behavior also denotes an incisive pose for the photo, an artificial moment as well as the mother’s highlight, the hero who deserves be applauded and followed. Colors, environment, smiles, everything contributes to the atmosphere of serenity and delight, and leads to the understanding that breastfeeding is a natural fact/act since the beginning/always and has no difficulties – even when there are twins (Luiza Tomé) or big children (Maria Paula).
The mother who doesn’t see that atmosphere when she tries to breastfeed (she feels pain, sore nipples, breast engorgement, fissures, fatigue, lack of support, instead) thinks that something is wrong – with her.
Positive changes are a good beginning in the campaigns. Yet what really is absent in all posters is something beyond the phrase “for further information, please call…” with telephone numbers or websites. A crucial recommendation is not explicit on those posters: “In case of difficulties, please call…”
As in all good ads, nobody wants to talk about problems. This analysis intends to focus on the help, the support. The mothers may check the credibility of the campaign, when they cannot reproduce the perfect spirit in the pictures, and even give up, thinking that breastfeeding is only for celebrities (who enjoy a whole universe, which is not accessible for “mortal” women).
(Actually, that information is available, in the material for health professionals. It was not created for the public at large. Ministry of Health Services – Brazilian Government issued a great, honest and plural primer, with “people like us”; so different from the posters! It’s worth visiting it: Cartilha de Amamentação – in Portuguese.)
You can also see:
This post in Portuguese: Campanhas de amamentação – uma análise séria e franca