Today on International Women’s Day, Merck for Mothers - Merck’s 10-year, $500 million global initiative focusing on the health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth - has unveiled this riveting, globe-spanning brand film, “Push”, that gives perspectives of three different expecting mothers across the world.

We follow the expectant mothers from slightly behind them, a point of view that gives us glimpse into their everyday lives, as they work, tell their families the good news, eat their vitamins and go about their nine months. While they all live vastly different lives, their expectant experience is universal and the similarities strike you more than anything.

Conceived by agency Matter Unlimited and helmed by director collective Whitelist, “Push” serves as the launch film for Merck for Mothers’ “All for Mothers” campaign , which helps illustrate the crucial role of private sector support in public sector issues and aims to inspire new public and private sector partners to join the initiative. Maternal mortality is a real issue in the world to this day, but these are preventable deaths.

As the nine months come to a head, each mother makes the journey to their birthing place, but tragically one of them doesn't make it. It's not just in rural Africa that healthy women die due to complications with childbirth, In Sweden classes are taught to give birth in cars, and women already do this because the birthing hospitals are shut down for economic reasons. Any complication in such a situation jeopardises the life of both the baby and the mother, completely unacceptable situation for a developed country. Even in hospitals in the developed world women die as they become mothers, in Hong Kong, in Italy, at a hospital near you. The nurse turned heroic Ebola fighter who ended up on the cover of Time Magazine as person of the year, Salome Karwah, died in childbirth. Ebola didn't get her but childbirth did. Let that sink in. Whenever a mother dies bringing life into the world, it's not just a tragic emotional loss for the family, there's a loss of knowledge and skills that will never be passed along, as well as the mother's love.

In the United States maternal mortality rates has risen and there's 830 maternal deaths a day in the world.

That number is far too high. This needs to stop.

If there's something women should be fighting for today, it's this . Meanwhile in Sweden it's women politicians like Ewa Back (S) who claims she "does not make decisions that affect patient safety," while she shuts down the ward that is supposed to be there for women and children during the most dangerous moment of their lives. “We are a feminist government.." sure you are.

Client: Merck for Mothers Lead: Dr. Naveen Rao Director of Communications: Heather Stamatacos Director of Strategic Partnerships: Mark Allen Agency: Matter Unlimited CEO: Robert Holzer Managing Director: Alexandra Gordon Director of Production: Ashley Jamieson Creative Director: Shabazz Larkin Creative Director: Ahmer Kalam Account Executive: Alison Kidd Director of Strategy: Jackie Prince Production Company: Whitelist Director: Spencer Creigh Executive Producer: Jerad Anderson Head of Production: Matt Griffo Head of Creative: Colin Moore Head of Operations and Finance: Natasha Seubert Producer: Jefferis Gray
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about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (3)

  • James_Trickery's picture
    James_Trickery

    Why is the Australian girl without a significant other? What's the message there? It had to be deliberate, the only male that talks to her about her pregnancy is a guy at the register while she works.

    Mar 09, 2017
  • Rachael Fulton's picture
    Rachael Fulton (not verified)

    This is an impressive ad

    Mar 11, 2017
  • Carlos, Rachael, and Zeek's picture
    Carlos, Rachael... (not verified)

    Merck for Mothers and Matter Unlimited partnered up to make this very emotional and impactful commercial called “Push”. “Push” was created for the “All for Mothers” campaign, which is an initiative that strives for private sectors to help fund public sectors as the maternal mortality rate has risen tremendously. We believe this article and commercial could not have been release in a better time. As civil issues are arising throughout the world, the conversation on maternal mortality rate has yet to be discussed. This commercial has allowed for light to be shine on a conversation that needs to become headline news. We believe that Merck for Mothers are doing a great job by taking this initiative.
    In this commercial, we believe that the display of different cultures, age, and acceptance is an effective and realistic approach to this scenario. It allows the viewer to be able to relate to the commercial, and connect emotionally. Overall, I think Matter Unlimited did an amazing job on displaying Merck for Mothers initiative and on getting their message across.

    Mar 14, 2017

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