Pampers is jumping into the nascent iPad application market with an app that lets parents track the growth of their nascent child.
The app, called Hello Baby, made its debut during Apple's launch of the tablet computer this month. It is Pampers' first mobile device application; the brand never launched an iPhone app. The move is also part of parent company Procter & Gamble's push to position its brands at the forefront of new and emerging technologies, especially as the packaged-goods titan shuffles more marketing dollars into digital, mobile and social media.
The app, available for free on iTunes, is essentially a pregnancy calendar, where users can track weekly progress from weeks four to 40 by entering the baby's due date. (The calendar draws on baby and parenting content taken from Pampers' "Village" online community site, said Susan Liao, a digital producer at StrawberryFrog, the agency that worked on the app.) Expecting moms can also hold the iPad in front of their tummies to view a typical, life-sized representation of the baby. Common comparisons include a baby that is the size of an acorn, pear and other "well-known fruits and vegetables," said Pampers North American marketing director Patrick Kraus.
Mobile baby apps like TheBump.com's Baby 411, for the iPhone, already exist, but Hello Baby, so far, is the only one developed exclusively for the iPad, he said. The app takes advantage of the portable device's high-resolution, multitouch screen to bring the prenatal development process to life.
P&G, which spent $53 million advertising Pampers last year, sans online, per Nielsen, said Hello Baby's investment is small, but it's looking to take findings from this "experiment" and leverage it online, Kraus said.