For new parents, bath time isn’t just about cleaning a baby. A new campaign from Johnson & Johnson’s baby products line, Johnson’s, aims to show that a bath is “so much more” and can help stimulate a baby’s senses.
Johnson’s baby business on Thursday will debut a new global marketing campaign that focuses on the impact of parents’ daily rituals with their newborns, particularly during bath and bedtime, on early child development.
“Happy, healthy baby development is what we all aspire to for our children,” said Debra Bass, global vice president of Johnson’s. “We look for simple ways to deliver this.”
A TV spot, just one element of the new “So Much More” campaign, shows a mother gently massaging her smiling baby’s head and feet during bath time. The spot’s narrator explains that the scent, lather and bubbles from a bath using Johnson’s products enhances the bath time experience for a baby, while a parent’s touch during bath time can help nurture a baby’s mind.
Many parents have adopted a “less is more” attitude towards baby products and have pared down their bath time routines for their kids because of concerns about ingredients in baby skin care products, Ms. Bass said. The “So Much More” campaign draws upon scientific research to encourage parents to use Johnson’s products for multi-sensory experiences, such as a massage during a baby’s bath time, that can be beneficial to a baby’s development. A study published in the Journal of Applied Development Psychology, for example, found that infants who received routine massages were 50% more likely to make eye contact and three times more likely to have an overall positive expression, such as smiling.
“As parents understand the benefits of this ritual it will re-engage them in the category and our brand and get them to embrace a fuller routine,” Ms. Bass said.
The “So Much More” campaign will launch in seven key markets around the world that represent 70% of the Johnson’s baby brand’s sales, among them the U.S., China and India, before expanding to other markets. The campaign includes a series of original videos, social content, in addition to TV spots, print ads and takeovers on Johnson’s BabyCenter educational site.
In addition to delivering a new brand proposition, the campaign is also a means to help accelerate Johnson’s growth and modernize the brand to connect with a new generation of digital-savvy parents. The baby skin products business–which sells baby products such as shampoo, head-to-toe wash and lotion–posted revenue growth of 1.3% in 2014. The brand’s growth was strongest in developing and emerging areas of the world. However, the business is more challenged in developed markets like the U.S. and the U.K,. where the baby skin care products category is more mature and where birthrates have stabilized.
The brand has primarily targeted first-time parents, who tend to be the most discerning in their choice of baby products. Johnson’s said it wants its new campaign to also reach other caregivers, medical professionals and even social media influencers who may play a role in helping a parent choose which baby products to use.
“Today in marketing it’s becoming harder and harder to break through,” said Alison Lewis, chief marketing officer of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies. “The more you can amplify your point of view in a coordinated and consistent way, the more breakthrough you are going to get.”
Although aspects of the campaign will remain consistent throughout different markets, each country will deploy different media elements and media buys to better resonate with local consumers. The TV spot of a baby during bath time, for example, will appear in multiple languages and feature different babies. In the U.S., digital will play an especially strong part of the campaign. The U.S. campaign will include social content on Facebook and Twitter, such as “Did you know” posts with facts about child development, and work with singer Jennifer Hudson to reach bloggers. The campaign in China, meanwhile, will be connected to the upcoming Chinese New Year.
“Recruitment is a really important part of the [Johnson’s] strategy,” Ms. Lewis said. “Babies are born every day, new parents are made every day. We have to introduce them to Johnson’s in a way that’s relevant today.”