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How HBF reached a million new dads

“The overwhelming success of this project to date can be largely attributed to the unique partnership between the Media and Communications team at HBF and our content marketing agency partner, Mahlab.”

Andrew Walton, HBF’s Media and Communications Manager.

Key objectives

  • Attract and engage a national audience of young families, through content targeted at expectant and new dads.
  • Grow a loyal and engaged community of members and prospective customers.
  • Raise brand awareness and differentiate HBF as the ideal health partner for young families.


HBF is an Australian private health insurer with more than a million members. Their mission is to help Australians with all things health related.

Pregnancy is an important time in the lives of young families. But it’s also an important time for private health insurers, because this milestone is a moment when couples begin to reconsider their health cover. It’s a key time for customers to upgrade or switch health cover providers. So HBF wanted to differentiate themselves and be top of mind when couples were considering the switch.

HBF identified a unique opportunity; almost all new-parent information was being targeted at mums. And while expectant dads are also desperate for help, parental information for them was hard to find; it was disparate, unreliable or just non-existent.

So HBF set out to create the definitive advice guide for dads, and together we developed Direct Advice for Dads (DAD), a website of genuine, valuable content created for dads, by dads.

Our approach

We conducted extensive interviews and focus groups with new and expectant fathers to uncover the areas where they were needing help. This, coupled with HBF’s own quantitative and qualitative data, helped us develop a complete and robust content strategy ensuring soon-to-be dads were given relevant, compelling and informative content, when they needed it the most.

Our DAD website was launched on Father’s Day 2016 with in-depth written and video content amplified through social channels.

Content topics ranged from the helpful ‘How-To…swaddle, prepare formula, make baby food and change a nappy’ to the heartfelt ‘Sometimes it doesn’t work out – my story of miscarriage’. From the sublime, ‘When are you due mate?’ to the ridiculous ‘The A-Z of being a Dad’.

The outcome

  • Monthly user targets surpassed more than 1600%
  • Thousands of Facebook reactions and hundreds of shares
  • More than a million site visits
  • Articles published and referenced across multiple mainstream media channels
  • International, multi-award winning content campaign
  • Helped cement HBF in the hearts and minds of young Australian families


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