Holland Mark Breaks Effort for First Years

Holland Mark Martin Edmund has unveiled its debut ad campaign for The First Years since the agency was assigned the account two years ago.
The effort attempts to establish a brand identity for the Avon, Mass.-based maker of children’s and infants’ products through a pitch for the company’s ComforTemp underarm thermometer, said Roger Baldacci, associate creative director at the Boston shop.
One print ad shows a baby’s bare behind and ear. A detour sign is superimposed over the buttocks; a caution sign blocks the hearing passage. The headline asks, “Why is our underarm thermometer easier than other thermometers? Because it goes under the arm.”
Another print execution shows a baby with an archery target over his ear. The headline: “Delicate. Sensitive. Prone to infections. Is this really the best place to stick a thermometer?”
The ads stress that the product was designed in consultation with leading pediatricians. The copy also mentions that The First Years’ impetus for ComforTemp came from parents themselves. The tagline, “Ideas inspired by parents,” is retained from the client’s past marketing efforts.
“This is really all about common sense,” said Baldacci, who wrote the ads, teaming with art director Scott O’Leary. “It just makes more sense to take a kid’s temperature by putting the thermometer under his arm than in the ear or the butt.”
Print executions broke last month and are running through March in magazines such as American Baby, Baby Talk, Healthy Kids, Parenting and Parents. The media buy is in the $1 million range, said Baldacci. At present, no broadcast initiatives are planned, he added.
The campaign has already generated significant response. Since the ads broke, the company has received about 750 calls each day, the maximum its telephone system can handle, and between 2,000 and 20,000 business reply cards each day, according to client official David Zapcic. The number of phone queries represents a threefold increase over call volume prior to the campaign, Zapcic said.