With melanoma among U.S. children increasing at an alarming rate and an absence of resources to educate families about this risk and restrictive sun-protection policies in American schools, the Coppertone brand needed to leverage its industry leadership to help protect children from the sun during school hours.


A nationwide survey was fielded to gauge U.S. consumer awareness and attitudes toward sun protection within schools, which found that 65 percent of Americans are unaware that U.S. schools have rules and restrictions around the usage of sunscreen. All of which confirmed that awareness surrounding this issue is timely; perhaps even overdue.


Padilla created the “Making the Sunscreen Grade” campaign, which equipped schools and parents with information to help navigate the confusing landscape around sunscreen use in schools. The multidimensional campaign sought to tackle the unmet need for sun protection in this environment and positioned Coppertone as a leader dedicated to sun protection education.


We partnered with Kaleidoscope to distribute 500,000 guides, posters and letters encouraging sun protection for students and partnership among staff, administrators and parents to develop a sunscreen-reapplication program. We also designed a program hub on the Coppertone website, which included social sharing links, a sample letter and downloadable sun-protection guides in English and Spanish. Lastly, the program focused on national and regional media outreach during pivotal timeframes — end-of-school and back-to-school.


The campaign generated 120+ million news media impressions and more than 75 percent of media coverage drove readers to the digital program hub. As a result of the program, an incremental 140,000 parents said they would purchase or recommend Coppertone and the brand’s reputation lifted by 17 percent. The campaign exceeded expectations and won a National PRSA Silver Anvil Award for best Reputation/Brand Management Campaign.