A Cry for Help: Saatchi & Saatchi and Pregnant Then Screwed fighting childcare crisis

Campaign's aim is making the cost of childcare as unignorable as the sound of a baby's cry

Saatchi & Saatchi and Pregnant Then Screwed — the charity working to end the motherhood penalty — launched A Cry For Help, an integrated nationwide campaign to support a new national report into the childcare crisis released by the charity. 

A Cry For Help centers on a core audio asset of a baby crying, a sound that has been scientifically proven to be impossible for human brains to ignore. To develop crying audio that would generate an optimum emotive and physical response, Saatchi & Saatchi engaged Lauren Stewart, Professor of Psychology and founder of the Music Mind and Brain MSc course at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Research has shown that a baby’s cry is impossible to ignore, whether we’re parents or not. I worked with Saatchi & Saatchi and synthesized the existing evidence to create a bespoke cry for this campaign, designed to be the most unignorable and aversive cry possible.

Professor Lauren Stewart, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London

Supplemented with DOOH and voiceover for Spotify and radio, the audio brings to life the sheer scale of the childcare crisis, symbolizes the cry for help from parents across the UK, and highlights the need for attention. 

The work will play out across OOH including Ocean Outdoor’s full motion DOOH screen located in Eat Street, Westfield London and across Spotify and social media from Friday 3rd March through to Mother’s Day (19th March) across the UK, as part of an urgent demand by Pregnant Then Screwed for a clear investment plan for the childcare sector. 

The campaign has been developed to promote a new national report from Pregnant Then Screwed, which surveyed more than 24,000 parents and revealed that three in four mothers (76%) who pay for childcare say it no longer makes financial sense for them to work. The UK’s childcare costs are now in the top three most expensive across the developed world (according to data from the OECD) and this is driving up debt for families, with 1 in 3 (32%) parents who use formal childcare admitting that they have had to rely on some form of debt to cover their childcare costs. 

If you’ve ever tried to do anything whilst there’s the sound of a baby crying nearby… it’s impossible… even if it’s not your baby. Humans are hardwired to take notice of this sound and we’re proud to have partnered with Pregnant Then Screwed to create a campaign impossible to ignore and we hope that in these weeks before Mother’s Day, our message will be heard and listened to

Franki Goodwin, Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi

Featured image: A Cry for Help / Saatchi & Saatchi