Evian and the magic of babies

Who doesn’t love cute kids? The beaming babies in the new Evian campaign have had the internet aflutter in just over two weeks of broadcast. The Baby&Me campaign has gone viral with over 30 million views in its first 4 days of broadcast on YouTube. The high-end French bottled water brand, whose mantra is ‘live young,’ has certainly taken ‘young’ to a whole new level of adorable.

This latest spot from Evian begins with a young man who catches a glimpse of his reflection and sees a baby imitating his movements. But this isn’t just any baby – it’s the playful mirror of the man’s inner child. The man dances in glee, and is joined by others who also see baby versions of themselves mimicking their respective dance moves. The dancing babies in the mirror and the soundtrack, a remixed version of the Jamaican hit “Here comes the hotstepper” by Ini Kamoze, will get you bopping and beaming. It’s a really adorable campaign.

The campaign has a global community engagement portal on LetsBabyDance.Evian.com. Here, consumers capture videos of themselves dancing using a webcam, and a dancing baby is juxtaposed over the videos to imitate their dance moves. The videos of the dancing babies are mashed up with the hope of creating the longest music video in the world. So far, the mash up is over 10 hours long, with people from all continents, and its growing.

The creative agency behind this campaign is BETC Paris, whose London office were the brains behind the Diet Coke gardener ad. Creative Remi Bannet says of the campaign, that babies introduce an element of happiness with their smiles and there-in lies the secret. This magic is the honest truth: babies will always touch a certain part of us. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be made mush by a gorgeous infant’s smile.

The Evian brand, owned by Danone Group, has been bottling mineral water since 1908. It owes its heritage to a spring with healing properties discovered in the late 1800’s. Water from this spring was later recommended for babies by doctors because of its balanced mineral content. Babies therefore, have always been at the helm of the brand identity.

Evian is perceived as a premium brand in terms of its price point, and is popular among high profile celebrities. To remain relevant the brand engages consumers on green issues. These include running an environmental awareness programme called the Evian Water Protection Institute, to highlighting a water cooperation initiative in native France and abroad.

Evian also has a notable cool factor as a result of its various joint promotions with fashion’s uber kings and queens. In the last couple of years, the brand collaborated with fashion powerhouses like Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Paul Smith, Issey Miyake, Courrèges and Diane von Furstenberg by co-designing iconic water bottles since 2007.

Live Young is the Evian mantra and this literal interpretation with very young human beings brilliant. The science behind the ‘live young’ message is not only linked to the 1935 doctor’s recommendation for the water but also to the fact that pure water maintains youthfulness. One of their previous ads actually proclaims water, in this case consumers connect it to Evian water, as the fountain of youth for your body. This is a brand that has found a formula that works and are going with it.

The bottom line is that this campaign is a great success. But don’t just take my word for it – see what’s happening on YouTube. Their previous Roller Babies campaign, with babies dancing in roller skates to Sugarhill’s Rapper’s Delight was a Guinness World Recorder holder for the most views for an ad online in 2009.

To create a successful engaging personality for a simple product like bottled water is cryptic work. But when you nail it, your brand becomes the stuff of legends. Evian has gone the whole nine yards in investing in their brand with awesome creative. Kudos to them and their brilliant creative agency.