New TENA campaign highlights unseen reality of family carers


Around one in ten people already look after a loved one, yet new research conducted by Essity owned incontinence brand TENA reveals that only 50% of people who provided extended family care considered themselves a ‘carer’.

This lack of perception is largely down to those doing the care not acknowledging themselves as ‘carers’ and, as a result, they feel more alone and unaware of the support available.

TENA #NoLoveLikeIt

The research, conducted with Ketchum, is part of TENA’s new global campaign #NoLoveLikeIt, which sees the brand also partnering with Carers UK.

Committed to providing care for both caregiver and receiver, TENA delved deep into qualitative and quantitative research to understand the realities of caring, which will become a reality for most of us at some point, as populations age and more care is provided in home by families.

In conversations with TENA, carers have remarked how the responsibility of caring for someone can feel daunting, unfamiliar, and scary.

And this can be even more challenging when the person you care for is incontinent. Dealing with urine leakage can feel like one of the most demanding and uncomfortable aspects of caring routines.

This adds to the emotional strain caregivers feel on top of what is a physically and mentally demanding role.

Over 70% of carers in some markets suffer from stress and exhaustion, showing just how demanding the reality can be.

With the help of three real carer households, TENA goes behind closed doors to help shine a light on the realities faced by family carers and the full spectrum of emotions experienced by those caring for someone, including joy, pain and, especially, love.

Becs, in her early 30s, cares for her mother, while Simone looks after her husband James, who has Multiple Sclerosis. Andrew cares for his disabled daughter Phoebe, with the help of her sister Chloe.

Created by AMV BBDO, the campaign will launch with a film directed by Oscar-nominated writer and Sound of Metal director Darius Marder, who’s used to filming non-actors to tell more authentic stories.

Through an intimate, honest look into what caring for a loved one is really like, the campaign highlights how caregiving situations can be simultaneously rewarding and challenging.

“I’ve still got a 21-year-old who wants a cuddle every night. It’s special.”, says Andrew, and “I do feel lonely sometimes”, reveals Simone in a 90-second film.

In recognising the many faces of caregiving and the cocktail of emotions that comes with it, TENA’s campaign prompts us all to support carers we may know in our lives and recognises a carer audience who often don’t identify as such.

In addressing society’s lack of awareness around the topic and showing the world what it feels like to be a caregiver, TENA helps people feel more prepared and supported.

Some other key findings from TENA’s research which informed the campaign:

  • With an ageing population expected to make up more than one fifth (22%) of society in the next ten years, the number of us estimated to give care will rise, with the pressure of impending caregiving needs already felt by many;
  • Almost half of people (47%) admit they already worry about taking care of a loved one in the future;
  • Over half of people (55%) find it difficult to balance daily life with family caregiving responsibilities, and 51% are concerned they wouldn’t know how to care for a dependent person properly;
  • Anxiety around caregiving means that almost one in three people (29%) actively avoid talking to a relative or loved one about their future care needs. Yet despite avoiding the subject, more than half (53%) believe it’s the duty of a loved one to look after a dependent family member and 45% of people acknowledge that providing family care themselves would be the only option for them.

TENA Global Brand Communications Manager, Paul Dennis, said: “TENA has spoken with many carers and their relatives over the years and its clear that incontinence care is often just one of the many challenges they face in their daily lives.

“We wanted to support them beyond just our products and with our #NoLoveLikeIt campaign our ambition is to recognise their varying experiences and contributions and help to shine a light on something that will be a reality for many of us at some point.”

AMV BBDO creative team behind the work Ben Smith and Dan Kennard, said: “We reached out to third party carer networks to find real carers who were willing to participate in the campaign and share their stories with us.

“We worked closely with them to craft the films, delving deeper into their stories and capturing real moments of joy and the challenges that go with them.”

Darius Marder, who directed the film via Caviar TV, said: “I was moved to bring the unseen experiences of real carers to the screen in a sincere and artful way. Carers are largely invisible and uncelebrated. Yet they are the vast majority.

“Hardly any of us escape this scenario. In casting light on them, we cast light on the fabric that binds us all as humans.”

Running in the UK, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, and Canada, the campaign goes live across TV, VOD, Social, in-store and on the TENA website.