Pregnancy Institute: How Nestle is Winning with Young Mothers in China


Born in the 1980s and 1990s today’s generation of new mothers in China is a unique group; a generation that remembers hearing about the iodine and melamine milk scandals when growing up. A generation that is highly suspicious of brands and would much rather trust their friends according to Mindshare’s proprietary Encounters study.

Except in the case of infant milk, the one-child policy has meant that her network of friends is just like her. Going through an experience that will change their lives without trusted sources to ask for help from.  Without a trusted big sister or a friend’s big sister to give them real advice they know will work. 

Winning with this audience was not going to happen by throwing money at the problem and trying to shout louder than competitors. To win trust, the brand had to put itself second and the consumer first and offer her the right advice from reliable sources to ease her anxiety at this crucial stage of her life.

This is also a highly targeted audience and contrary to the usual “hundreds of millions” numbers you usually see associated with any China campaign, the audience we were looking to target is equal to the population of one Beijing. So a broadcast solution would mean wastage.


This audience is accustomed to receiving information through bite size videos and with the growth of 3G and 4G in the main cities, a video based platform had to be at the core of what Mindshare did.

The agency decided to create a video based digital guide for the current generation of first-time mothers in China entitled Pregnancy Institute. After monitoring BBS forums, Weibo and pregnancy forums for months, it created a list of the top 40 most common concerns / issues and questions being asked by pregnant women in China.

These then became the feature content for a 40 episode video series – one for every week of pregnancy.

It brought together experts from the fields of nutrition, psychology, gynecology, pediatrics and general medicine and worked with the Chinese Association of Health Promotion and Education to gain an endorsement for the series so that moms knew this was trusted advice.

But what made the series truly special was two things:

- It included “Big Sisters” from Nestle’s Chao Ma Tuan Social CRM programme. Experienced mothers who made the expert panel we brought together much more approachable and asked further questions and clarifications in the voices of the mothers we were targeting.
- The platform per se was not branded. The experts and the big sisters were named as coming from Nestle and the brand colours were used in the set design. But beyond that the video contained no overt branding.


Mindshare partnered with Youku, the most popular video platform in China, and swapped the content assets on Youku’s baby channel for promotion to drive viewership of the programme.

This was coupled with a partnership with China’s hottest pregnancy vertical babytree making othe series the featured content on the website.

The agency also created a campaign to allow users to tweet questions to the experts if they still needed further information on a topic. With these experts and Big Sisters responding, engagement with the programme grew!

A number of these Questions were then shot on the fly into Q&A vignettes and peppered throughout the baby channel content.

Through the video content it also included a number of checklists, reminders of the key take outs and links to further resources.

This truly made Pregnancy Bible a comprehensive resource for young mothers in China. 


At launch, the campaign achieved 24.6 million video views in 13 weeks. This beat the nearest content with a similar purpose – Pregnancy Booklet garnered 11 million views in one year and Daddy Mommy Club gained 1.7 million views in one year.

90% of comments to the show were positive and user ratings on Youku were an average of 9.1 compared to similar content, which got a rating of 8.  The cost per video was a low USD 0.01 per view (including the cost of content creation and promotion)!

Since launch the video views have reached an impressive 75.1 million at the time of submission of this case and still growing.

But perhaps most important were the brand results it delivered:
- A +19% increase in core KPI consideration for NAN HA in the infant milk category and + 33% improvement in brand trustworthiness. The campaign also ranked in the top 20% of performances in terms of brand favourability and purchase intent.

With Season two airing and more seasons planned Pregnancy Institute is here to stay.

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