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The First Hello

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In China, the financial burden of raising a child means fathers’ primary focus is earning an income.  As a result, many Chinese women feel a false sense of “single motherhood” with husbands only seeing their wives <1 hour per day.

In extension, pregnancy is a journey mothers go on alone and even in the special moments when fathers want to be by their side, they are prevented from participating. For instance, in China men are not allowed in the ultrasound rooms to see or hear their unborn baby. This exclusion creates a separation between the couple, and research indicates that expectant Chinese fathers feel they miss out on momentous moments in their life that they can never get back.

PHD also unearthed research that showed a father’s involvement during pregnancy has a high influence on his involvement in the latter stages of child caring.

For Elevit, its key competitor is market leader Scrianen, with a +14.7% purchase intention. Being government-owned, Scrianen was better able to directly influence hospitals and doctors. Scrianen also used expert insight to reinforce its assertion that 0.4mg folic acid is enough to avoid birth defects.

By contrast, Elevit claims instead a 0.8mg folic acid is the correct dose – and has research to support this. However, despite this, China’s restrictive government legislation bans this information from being advertised directly to consumers.

The agency’s problem was, how can it get their attention and stand out from Scrianen when it can’t talk about the unique product benefits or influence healthcare professionals?


These insights helped PHD see an opportunity for Elevit to bring Chinese parents-to-be closer together and enable them to experience something magical together.

Without the ability to deliver advertising messages around Elevit’s unique product benefit of helping babies develop to be strong and healthy, it had to find another way to drive brand preference.

So, instead, it focused on making Elevit the conduit to creating a stronger, healthier relationship between expectant parents.

The campaign would not focus on product benefits but would instead focus on giving them something that Chinese society made it difficult for them to achieve themselves - the ability to more fully share the pregnancy experience.

Elevit would bring couples closer during the pregnancy by promoting the concept of co-parenting and getting fathers more involved.


The solution was for Elevit to enable Chinese fathers to say their first hello to their unborn children through a device which allowed them to physically feel the baby’s heartbeat alongside a recording of their baby’s ultrasound.

Five expectant parents were invited to experience this magic moment first hand and their experiences were turned into a series of videos, complemented with the message “Elevit PMVS with folic acid and multi-vitamin supplements to help build strong hearts to say their first hello”.

This allowed fathers to experience more connection with their unborn child – and because the couples could feel the baby’s heartbeat together, it brought them closer together through a shared experience.

These films then became branded content that PHD distributed to a tightly targeted audience of expectant parents. This was primarily driven by a collaboration with Baidu (China’s biggest search engine) to use couple’s pregnancy-related search behaviour to tag a very specific target audience online.

Though this granular accuracy of audience targeting the agency was able to serve ads to expectant couples that directed them to Elevit’s campaign site to get more tips on parenting, and gave them the opportunity to watch the video series.

It then retargeted those who interacted with the campaign to directly promote sales and offer the first 100 e-commerce buyers the chance to say their own first hellos with a “Love before birth” gift pack that included the exclusive Elevit heartbeat tracker for a chance to record and remember that special moment.


In the face of regulatory restrictions, the campaign bridged a consumer need and used media technology to bring Chinese expecting couples closer together to foster a healthier next generation.

For the first time ever, Scianen’s purchase intention decreased (-58%. Other competitors also saw purchase intention decrease), while Elevit’s purchase intention increased by 22%. (2016. June vs. 2016 July)

This purchase intention also translated into actual sales:

- Elevit achieved a +57% sales uplift post campaign (and a 39% sales YoY sales uplift) beating all competitors. (Before campaign June, 2016 & during campaign August, 2016)

Campaign Performance: 14.1 million unique viewers watched the “Love before birth” video and nearly 1.4 million went to the campaign site to watch and read more about Elevit and the campaign.

Through the media strategy, it also achieved an on-target rate of 40% where the industry benchmark is only 30%.

Beyond that, the campaign also achieved substantial reach, engagement, and social lifts with social buzz increasing 88% post campaign.                 

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Brand Owner:
Bayer plc
July - August 2016
Media Channel:
Branded Content,Online
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