Brand: Baby Einstein (Disney)
Target: First time Moms
Reviewer: David Vinjamuri
A testimonial-style commercial for Baby Einstein. The spot starts off showing the green door to a suburban house and superimposes “A Real Mom Talks About Baby Einstein DVDs” over the door. Then we meet Antonia and her son Hudson. Antonia talks about how much she likes Baby Einstein DVDs. As she speaks we see images from the DVDs as well as scenes of her playing with her sons both in an out-of-doors. The spot ends with a voiceover “Make new discoveries with Baby Einstein DVDs” and a product shot of the DVD lineup.
If you buy the premise that you must advertise mass-distributed brands on mass media (and we do not), then this spot does the job as well as it can be done. It is not overly slick and would look equally comfortable if shown on a cable access channel. It speaks directly from one mom to others, just as the Baby Einstein videos do. It is fairly single-minded about the brand positioning “by a mom, for moms” which is the strongest positioning for the Baby Einstein product. It doesn’t splash the Disney name – a temptation that lesser marketers in large corporations might have succumbed to. It also is simple, uses strong images and has a good product shot and good branding.
I was particularly interested in reviewing this ad because I wrote a chapter of Accidental Branding about the Baby Einstein founder, Julie Clark. When Disney bought out Clark and took over the Baby Einstein brand, they did a good job of keeping the Disney name away from the product. But to make their return, they moved Baby Einstein into broader mainstream distribution and created spinoff products – everything from toys to sippy cups. This expanded the sales of the brand tremendously, but it also began to erode the expertise of Baby Einstein which had been narrowly focused on producing videos for babies.
Disney also started advertising the Baby Einstein brand. It was an unsurprising move, as Disney clearly wanted to bring mass marketing to Baby Einstein. I was very curious to see if they could pull this off, because the brand always struck me as a consummate ‘insider’ brand that thrives on personal recommendation. It is impossible to know if any mass media campaign might be clever enough to sell Baby Einstein without ruining the “it’s my secret” appeal of Baby Einstein, but this spot does not work. The ad straddles the unhappy line between diet supplement testimonial and infomercial. The production values are not bad but it still feels far less well crafted than the Baby Einstein videos themselves and clearly a corporate product.
Branding Bottom Line:
Baby Einstein reminds us we still want a set of Ginsu Knives.