Six lives lost every day
Around 310,000 babies are born in Australia every year. Sadly, around 2200 are stillborn – or six every day. This rate has not changed in 20 years. It’s higher than the national road toll.
Not all stillbirths are preventable, but many are – and there are measures that can help reduce the risk.
Icon Agency was tasked with creating and executing a national awareness and education campaign to lift the lid on the hidden tragedy of stillbirth.
A group effort
As part of a larger 10-year national action plan to tackle the rate of stillbirths across Australia, a consortium of established organisations came together to deliver this important campaign.
Red Nose, including SANDS (Stillbirth and Newborn Death Support), Stillbirth Foundation Australia and Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence are each committed to supporting pregnant women, their partners and families with information to reduce the risk of stillbirth, and supporting those who have experienced stillbirth.
Approaching a sensitive subject
There are three evidence-based behaviours proven to reduce the risk of stillbirth: quitting smoking and avoiding cigarette smoke, sleeping on your side after 28 weeks and contacting your maternity care professional immediately if your baby’s movements change.
It’s important for expectant families to be empowered and armed with this information, yet stigma remains around discussing the issue. On top of the deep-rooted culture of silence surrounding stillbirth, a sense of shame around pregnancy and pregnancy loss prevails.
It’s a big challenge. Changing a national mindset is no mean feat, especially during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, where public health campaigns needed to be approached with caution.
Speaking to expectant mothers and their partners, friends and families about such a confronting topic, it was imperative we approached the campaign with sensitivity and understanding, while delivering the information with authority.
Advanced medical care and standards of living in Australia, coupled with an expectation of a healthy outcome from a pregnancy, mean stillbirth is unthinkable for most. It’s rarely publicly discussed and learnings are not passed on. To be successful, we knew the campaign must tap into culture. By asking parents and families to imagine the unimaginable, we open the conversation and raise awareness.
The first campaign of its kind
Still Six Lives was developed.
Honouring the six lives lost to stillbirth every day in Australia, Still Six Lives set out with a clear mission. Every family we could support, every stillbirth we could help try to prevent, was our driving goal.
We would do this by:
Increasing awareness of Australia’s alarming stillbirth rate;
Helping to remove the stigma and culture of silence that surrounds stillbirth in order to open an important conversation; and
Educating Australians on three behaviours proven to reduce the risk of stillbirth.
This was the first campaign of its kind in Australia.
The Stillbirth Promise
As part of Still Six Lives, to continue driving momentum and to increase advocacy, we created and launched The Stillbirth Promise.
Led by bereaved parents, Holly and Josh, Australians were urged to make a promise to learn and share the three behaviours which reduce the risk of stillbirth with their family and loved ones.
The launch garnered high-profile support, including from Minister of Health, Greg Hunt.
Between February and October 2021, across three campaign ‘peaks’, we generated widespread coverage and attention for Still Six Lives, including:
663 pieces of earned media coverage with a potential reach of 246.5 million
128 pieces of influencer content with a potential reach of 8.3 million
Key messages in 100% of earned media coverage
Campaign spokespeople and case studies in 98% of earned media coverage
1.15 million completed video views
255.6k website page views.
Creative ideation and direction
PR and social media
Influencer strategy, engagement and management