How WaterWipes and The Brooklyn Brothers tuned into the real world of parenting

The Brooklyn Brothers won the Grand Prix and several other accolades at The Drum Content Awards 2019 with its ‘This is Parenthood’ campaign for WaterWipes. In this case study, the agency reveals the challenges it faced and the strategies it used to produce this award-winning campaign.

The challenge

WaterWipes, a challenger brand, couldn’t compete with the big players in its category (such as Pampers and J&J) in terms of paid media. Without the budgets to buy the attention of their target audience, we needed to earn it by disrupting the category.

WaterWipes is a brand that has been built through word of mouth. Once aware of the product, consumers quickly converted and became advocates, encouraging others to do the same. Yet brand health data showed that up to 65% of parents were not aware of the brand, even when prompted. The lack of awareness was limiting the ability to convert and so driving awareness became our focus.

We had two key objectives:

• Increase brand awareness by earning attention over and above our media spend;

• Increase sales market share in eight priority markets.

As a challenger brand, WaterWipes also needed to ensure that every working dollar was focused on earning us attention to maximise the return on investment of the project.

The strategy

First, we needed to truly understand parents. We conducted a global survey of over 13,000 parents and found that over half feel like they’re failing during the first year of parenthood. A key factor was the ‘myth of perfect parenting’ perpetuated in the advertising of leading brands, and in social media.

Seeing that the lack of honesty was disempowering parents, we set out to inspire self-belief in them by celebrating the realities of parenthood and changing the conversation on a global scale.

We launched #thisisparenthood – a content-fuelled conversation on social media – by putting real parents at the heart of the campaign and delivering a pure and honesty portrayal of parenthood – the joyous highs, heart-breaking lows and everything in between. Using a documentary-style production approach, we followed 86 mums and dads around the world on their journey through the first year of parenthood as they talked openly about the highs and lows.

With a lean production budget that needed to fuel all content, for all markets, for the entire fiscal year, we chose a documentary style approach to show real stories from real parents in a way scripted films couldn’t. These stories are captured in a 16-minute documentary, 13 short films (on taboo subjects such as identity, how your relationship with your partner changes and the realities of bonding), 36 Instagram stories and a suite of photography that aims to portray real parenting like never before.

To be efficient with our spend, our media needed to be hyper-targeted too. We avoided the broadcast formats of competitors, instead using data driven distribution to place our content in the places and spaces in which parents were already having peer-to-peer conversations.

This translated into an earned-first approach that allowed us to drive influence in three key areas: in culture, in the daily lives of our audience and in the retail journey.

The campaign

The project was distributed primarily via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as well as through PPC, time-targeted programmatic display, OOH and earned press coverage. Parenting influencers and Health Care Professionals also shared their own honest moments to spread the conversation to a hyper-relevant audience, whilst baby shows were used to bring the message to parents face-to-face. WaterWipes.com also housed a project hub that brought to life the mission of the project to unite parents across the world.

We engaged parents in their daily lives by taking our documentary content – from 5-second social gifs to a 16-minute film – adapting it to fit the places and spaces that suited parents unique, sleep-deprived media consumption habits. We even live-streamed a comedy show on Facebook with leading parenting podcasters, The Scummy Mummies, at 3am – knowing this was the time that parents on the night-feed were craving a sense of solidarity and some light relief.

Being hyper-relevant also meant being eye-to-eye, and with some of the stories from the real parents in our films being extremely honest, we needed to ensure that we didn’t ‘sell’ to parents in these moments of vulnerability. By removing product and branding in the most honest pieces of our content – over half – WaterWipes built trust and brand love without ever having the pack in frame nor logos on screen.

In culture, we captured the attention of the press with the results of our parenting survey. Key influencers kick-started the project using honest depictions of parenthood accompanied by #thisisparenthood, which was quickly picked up by the global parenting community. Hero out of home placements in select locations such as Times Square NYC served to drive awareness at scale and highlight the homogeny of the rest of the category.

Finally, to ensure this awareness converted to an increase in sales market share, we drove conversion through retail partnerships and placements. Through our lens of honesty, assets showed usage occasions such as weaning and nappy changing in a candid and relatable way, highlighting our unique product benefits and allowing parents to directly click through to purchase. Dynamic targeting allowed us to make sure that the right high-value audiences were seeing these messages at the right time.

The Results

• A 90% uplift in awareness among parents vs. target

• 1.7b parents reached globally (+2515% vs. target)

• 139K earned engagements (+1100% vs. target)

• 7000 pieces of UGC content from parents

• A 7% uplift in consideration

• 55K clicks to the WaterWipes website

• YouTube View Through rate reached 28.8%

• Over 1,300 views on our 3am Live Instagram with Scummy Mummies

But above all, #ThisIsParenthood has impacted culture and changed the conversation among real parents. Through our unique honesty, we gave parents from the US to the UAE the space to open up through DMs andcomments, where hundreds shared their own intimate stories:

• "I wish I'd seen a campaign like this BEFORE I had a baby"

• "This is truly what every parent needs! Sometimes we need all the reassurance we can get to be able to

cope with this new life, to know we're not alone"

• "How could we not share this. Empowering. Inspiring. Re-post @waterwipes"

*The Brooklyn Brothers won the Grand Prix/ Best Branded Content Campaign/ Best Use of Content on Social Platform/Best FMCG or Consumer Products Content Marketing at The Drum Content Awards 2019 for this campaign.

If you think you could do better, register your interest in next year's awards.

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