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Backed by research, Maltesers' #Motherlovers campaign is more than a sweet message

Packs of Maltesers, polled as the UK's most popular candy brand, currently feature full-width quotes in a blocky font: "Sharing last night's parenting disaster with colleagues — the best kind of coffee break" (Julia, mom of 2). "When your manager knows your baby fussed all night and brings you a cup of tea" (Laura, mother of 2).

The on-pack messages are part of an integrated campaign by the Mars-owned brand and can be spotted in both the UK and the Netherlands. With #Motherlovers, Maltesers is calling on people around working mothers to offer their support. An accompanying microsite offers resources for four categories of potential motherlovers: family and friends, partners, managers and colleagues. Tips include: "Resist the temptation to offer unsolicited advice," "Take up some of the invisible mental load of chores and childcare," and "Hero people with different flex patterns by telling their stories and promoting them."

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Maltesers isn't just running a campaign to get 'motherlovers' to offer their support. It also commissioned a study into working moms across the UK and the Netherlands. Executed by research group The Outsiders, the study found that 69% of working mothers in the UK and 60% in the Netherlands "feel they have suffered some type of discrimination or negative treatment in the workplace due to becoming a mom." Additionally, 55% of those in the UK and 35% of their Dutch peers stated they need more help from employers and coworkers "to be the working mom they want to be." A resulting white paper is chock-full of practical advice.

The tussle between work and motherhood is persistent, and Maltesers is addressing the challenges that mothers face with both depth (the study) and breadth (the wider, shopper-facing campaign). Instead of simply broadcasting a supportive, feel-good message, the brand is actively enlisting and guiding its audience to do more and do better. The next time your company wants to send a helpful message out into the world, follow the malted milk balls' lead and go deep and get concrete. To make a campaign meaningful, make it actionable!