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Maltesers ads show honest realities of motherhood in support of mums’ mental health

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight the most talked about creative that should be on your radar. Here we kick-start your week with a Maltesers campaign that charts the highs and lows of motherhood this International Women's Day.

Mars Wrigley UK has surfaced the light and dark side of being a mother for a new Maltesers campaign that does not shy away from the sometimes hard reality of parenthood.

The campaign comes on the back of research that shows one in 10 women will experience mental health issues during pregnancy or within the first year of giving birth, with seven in 10 women choosing to hide or underplay the severity of their symptoms.

Addressing this hitherto hidden group directly, Maltesers has illuminated the full spectrum of emotions mothers can experience in twin adverts informed by conversations with real mums and their accounts of motherhood.

A social media campaign will dovetail with these commercials comprising bespoke 'Giphy' stickers, posts and Instagram Stories to encourage those suffering in silence to speak out and share their personal experiences to support others.

Drawing on everyday scenes, the first ad shows one mother venting her frustrations on a Malteser at the bus stop before putting a second sweet to better use. A second homely scene shows a lactating mum lighten the moment by offering her mother a cup of custom-made tea.

Maltesers brand director Leah Dyckes said: "Maltesers has always been at the forefront of UK advertising’s drive to do a better job of representing society in everything we do – and this is no different. Be it our own experiences or the experiences of our friends, family or partners, we know that maternal mental health impacts so many women during and after pregnancy. However, it is rarely talked about and widely considered taboo.

“Through our advertising, campaigns and partnerships, Maltesers aims to help women build resilience, by laughing together through the tough stuff.”

Created by AMV BBDO the focus on mothers marks a continuation of Maltesers' commitment to embody diversity in its marketing communications and follows on from the brands heralded work to raise awareness of the issue in the public consciousness through mainstream depictions of people with disability in daily life.

This approach has served the brand well in the past when it won Channel 4's 'Superhumans Wanted' brief in 2016 with a series of three ads centred on real-life stories of disabled people.

Creative director Polina Zabrodskaya added: “Our culture conditions people to have strong opinions on what is acceptable and not acceptable for women to feel while being a mother. The more you are pressured to act blissfully happy, the harder it becomes to reach out for support. We hope this campaign helps to normalise the experiences so many women go through.”

Launched today to coincide with International Women's Day the campaign will also see Maltesers partner with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, an organisation part-funded by Comic Relief.

Check out The Drum’s special Health hub, which examines how the key players – from health agencies to pharma firms to brands – are doing their part to return the world to normality.