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Matter Unlimited Imagines America as a Nation that Better Supports Parents with Campaign for Parent Nation Initiative

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Consultancy crafts a campaign to help an innovative parental support philosophy evolve from a book to a movement poised to shift the parenting paradigm

Matter Unlimited Imagines America as a Nation that Better Supports Parents with Campaign for Parent Nation Initiative

What would the world be like if parenting was a shared social responsibility - where the enormous responsibility of early childhood care and education was addressed by a nation invested in raising the next generation of teachers and students, employers and employees, voters and leaders? This is the central premise of Parent Nation: the New York Times and USA Today best-selling book and initiative from Dr. Dana Suskind and the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at the University of Chicago, with a mission to build a society that supports parents and caregivers, so all kids can thrive. Needing to enlist supporters to their cause, they partnered with strategic and creative consultancy Matter Unlimited for an inspiring campaign rooted in the power of community-building.

As a world-class pediatric surgeon, social scientist, and best-selling author of Thirty Million Words, Dr. Dana Suskind – with award-winning science writer Lydia Denworth – created Parent Nation as a new look at the neuroscience of early childhood development. In particular, it explores how scientific insights and real-life parenting stories can guide us toward a future in which every child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential. For Matter, representing this important mission meant clearly communicating the personal and societal benefits of this philosophy while going beyond the book to encouraging others to join the initiative. "We wanted our campaign to tell the story of what a Parent Nation looks like, so we show moments of paid leave, affordable housing, and flexible work hours for those moments in kids' lives you can't redo," says Matter Unlimited's Creative Director, MJ Deery. "We also had to create a pathway for others to see themselves as part of the solution so that they'd get actively involved, going from awareness into action."

Matter began by developing a strategy to shift the mindset about parents, repositioning them as change makers and part of a collective identity that can reshape the status quo. This proved especially important because of the pandemic, which has led to increased feelings of loneliness for caregivers and spotlighted the many ways society fails parents, most acutely families of colour. “Consider that 90% of brain development happens before kindergarten,” argues Deery. “By the time all children have access to free schooling, only some have had the benefit of quality, private early childhood education during that brief window of time when brains are most primed to learn. Simply put, inequity is already underway by the first day of school in America.” Deery adds that in order to be a nation that supports parents and democratizes opportunity, we need a big shift. Matter’s efforts were targeted toward mobilizing an ongoing movement and not just a one-off program.

Matter applied these insights towards various touchpoints, creating messaging and countless opportunities to learn more and get involved. This included designing and developing the Parent Nation website, building the overall campaign identity, creating content – including videos, paid posts and more – and leading the partnership strategies with influencers and corporations, plus subsequent activations. For the content, the Matter team used heartwarming, viral videos of parents who have shifted the cultural conversation around parenting, creating a series of ads that offered new perspectives on the importance of paid leave, flexible work schedules, and affordable housing. Matter even created the cover for the Parent Nation book itself, anchored by illustration work from Jess Rotter.

In creating the website, Matter worked to clearly define the ways that supporters could get involved. “We wanted to make sure that if you're a parent, you can sign up and attend parent villages - community based groups that focus on hands-on action,” explains Matter Unlimited Managing Partner, Alexandra Gordon. “But supporters can also just use the website as a way to stay informed or be a voice and an advocate as part of the movement. We wanted to build a place that could draw all kinds of allies – from corporations to friends of parents to relatives and beyond. After all, if this community comes together and actually sees themselves as a collective voting block, maybe it would impact how our policies look.“

Ultimately, this collaboration with Dr. Suskind and the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health resulted in an uplifting campaign that will continue to unite communities of parents, resulting in a nation where every child has a chance to thrive. "The Matter Unlimited team are exceptional creatives, strategists, and visionaries who have taken our vital work at Parent Nation and are turning it into a powerful campaign for change," says Dr. Suskind. Matter’s Gordon adds, “Through the hard work of our teams, I hope we were able to give this movement a persuasive voice and a platform to engage new and existing allies in this important cause.”

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Lore, Mon, 13 Jun 2022 13:40:00 GMT