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The Globe and Mail

A marketing cliché that works: Evian’s dancing babies back

Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail's marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky.

It's a cliché of the marketing biz that if you want an easy route to creating brand goodwill, all you need to do is use babies or puppies. The man who created the E*Trade baby was keenly aware that it had " been done 500 times." (And that's probably a low estimate.)

But mock it as much as you like; babies can be a winning strategy. Evian launched its breakdancing infants on rollerskates in 2009. Since then, they have boogied straight from the uncanny valley and up the YouTube charts; it has since been viewed on the site more than 60 million times.

On Friday, the brand launched a new campaign in 14 countries including Canada, bringing back its CG infants. The new spot is entitled Baby & Me (watch it below), and once again uses a retro hip hop track to motivate the digitally produced dancing tykes.

"The babies embody 'Live Young™', the Evian mantra, and remind us that we are all youthful in our own, unique way," said a statement from Jerome Goure, vice- president of Marketing for Danone, which owns the Evian brand. "Babies are also the ultimate symbol of natural purity, exactly what Evian water is."

Next month, the brand will also launch an application for iPhones and Android devices allowing users to "babify" themselves and share the resulting photos on social media. (Apparently an application with similar functionality – your mum's vast photo archive – was insufficient.) For those profoundly creeped out by the digitized fake babies, this call to join their ranks may prove even more unsettling.

What do you think of babies in advertising? Cute? Creepy? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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