Babies R Us Wants to Give Millennial Parents a More Honest Message About Parenthood

New work from BBDO shows it's OK not to be perfect

For new parents, the pressure to get everything right—picking the right diapers, the right stroller, the right car seat—can be overwhelming. Babies R Us wants parents to know that it can help with those difficult purchasing decisions, and that it’s OK not to be perfect.

Babies R Us has retooled its messaging with a new campaign from BBDO it hopes will attract millennial parents who said they want the brand to be more realistic and show what it’s actually like to be a parent, explained chief marketing officer Carla Hassan at a launch event Friday for the new work.

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“Millennial parents, more than any other parent, were very vocal about us being real, us being honest and us being raw,” Hassan said. “The vulnerability that we’re bringing in the language that we’re using—this notion of, you’re going to forget things, and that’s OK. You’re going to make a mess; that’s OK. You’re going to be scared of leaving the hospital; that’s OK—[came from] the idea that they just wanted us to be much more raw.”

Added Hassan: “That’s a very different voice for the brand, and that’s a very different voice for the baby industry in general. [Millennial parents] were the ones that drove that reality and that realism. They wanted to see that, but they also wanted us to be inspirational. They’re kind of a dichotomy. They want the real, but they also don’t want you to shine a mirror to them because that feels a little hard. That’s why there’s a lot of humor infused in what we’re doing.”

The brand used a data-rich approach which led to the “insight that the rest of the industry is painting a picture that is actually unrealistic,” Hassan noted, adding, “We want to provide an honest counterpoint in an inspirational way.”

Among Babies R Us’ findings are that 82 percent of parents have felt overwhelmed when their baby first came home, 78 percent of parents have walked around with spit-up on their shirt without realizing it and 63 percent of parents feel like they’ve messed up as a parent. 

The new work is a digital-first campaign, which uses the tagline “Be prepared-ish,” that will also include digital video spots in the coming weeks.

The new work is also meant to be more reflective of the way families actually look, showing mothers and fathers, single parents, single fathers, single moms, moms and moms, dads and dads and interracial couples, Hassan said.