Ad Review: Baby & Me by evian
I want to start this section off with my favorite ad of all time: the 2013 Baby & Me commercial by French mineral water brand evian. I first came across this advertisement through a chain forward when I was 14 years old, and and I remember whacking the replay button again and again as I bopped my head to the tune, wondering why I was rewatching something I spent most of life unabashedly skipping over.
The 76 second commercial features grown adults gawking at a shop mirror as toddler versions of themselves stare back at them. As the grown ups slowly begin to embrace their childhood selves, gleefully bursting into dance as their baby reflections enthusiastically follow suit, the ad brilliantly enchants viewers, urging them to embrace the “inner babies” in them.
The ad was released by French advertising agency BETC, and instantly became an advertising phenomenon, garnering 20 million views in two days, 100 million in ten weeks, and 6.9 million shares. A staggering 334+ revised third-party versions popped up on the internet, contributing to the evian baby-loving frenzy that gripped the nation.
The babies in the ad are much more than a bunch of adorable faces– they’re a nod to the brand’s message to “Live Young.” In an interview with UK publication Campaign, chairman of BETC Rémi Babinet said, “…This encounter captures Evian’s vision of youth, which is most of all an attitude, an openness to the world and to the unexpected, regardless of age.” The commercial went on to win a groundbreaking four awards (Silver and Bronze in the Film category, Silver in the Film Craft category, and Gold in the Outdoor category) at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the most prestigious gathering for professionals working in the creative and communications industries.
This kind of record-setting success, however, is not new to the Paris based agency: before Baby & me, it executed a campaign for evian in 2009 called “Roller-skating babies” that won a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most viewed online video advertisement. Hit after smashing hit has established evian’s “Baby” campaign as one of the most successful and memorable creative campaigns in the world. evian’s market sales in the UK, US, Germany, and France skyrocketed, and the brand basked in extensive PR coverage that lasted months after the ad’s release. In 2013, evian followed up its record breaking advertisement with a fun mobile app called “Baby & Me Application” that further publicized the brand’s youthful image to consumers, which allowed users to select a picture of themselves for the software to convert into a baby version.
It’s incredible how the advertisement managed to garner so much attention for the brand despite not showing the actual product until the very end of the commercial. Even after seven years, the brand continues to reap the benefits of the Baby campaign’s success, managing to serve as a steadfast role model in the ever-changing landscape of the advertising industry. The ad truly does bring out the inner baby in me as I feel the inexplicable urge to spin and whirl with the babies and adults onscreen every time I stumble across the ad.