Advertising to new parents has come a long way from the days of babies swaddled in blankets and an overly precious version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as the background track. Plum Organics forgoes all the delicate language entirely in a plucky, cheeky spot that is all about sex.
The ad, from agency Something Massive, opens on various familiar nighttime bedroom scenes—ambivalent couples with iPhones blazing—and an eager host who declares, with loads of innuendo and accompanying rim shots, that each of these couples could be having sex. Actress Katie Aselton’s enthusiastic jokes are obvious and aplenty, but the show-stealers are the parents, deadpanning excuses like, “I just fell asleep with my eyes open.”
Check out the spot here:
Aselton makes the claim that more sex leads to stronger partnerships and happier families, and ends with a call to action to pledge to “Do Your Part(ner).” The brand launches DoYourPartner.com today, complete with an interactive generator that will send a calendar invite for a romantic rendezvous. The spot ends with note about more babies also being advantageous to Plum’s bottom line, as those wee ones will need to eat.
“This conversation is really nothing new for us,” Katie Sobel, vp of brand engagement and marketing communications for the brand, tells Adweek. “We’ve actually touched on sex and relationships before in previous activations with overwhelmingly positive response from our consumers, although this is the first time we’re fully diving into the topic. That said, while sex is clearly the campaign hook, given the title, it’s really much more about ‘Do Your Part’ than ‘Do Your Partner.’ And that means giving parents the permission to make time for their relationships and themselves, sans guilt.”
Also worth noting: While Cheerios drummed up loads of irrational controversy in 2013 with an interracial couple, and Campbell’s did the same by starring a pair of gay dads, Plum doubles down here by featuring 1) an interracial couple, 2) a gay couple and 3) an interracial gay couple. Between all the cultural awareness and the sex, we give it four days before One Million Moms starts a boycott.
Then again, Cheerios’ cross-brand web exposure increased by 77 percent after releasing its interracial ad, so there’s certainly a marketing advantage to being simultaneously inclusive and controversial. (What a time to be alive.)
“We’re a challenger brand, so pushing the envelope is nothing new for us,” says Ben Mand, svp of brand marketing and innovation for Plum Organics. “From our marketing to our product innovation, we’re constantly redefining what’s seen as ‘typical’ or ‘safe’ for our category, and we’re definitely not afraid to ruffle a few feathers here and there. That said, we’re also a team of parents who have experienced all the ups and downs of parenting firsthand, and we’re not just doing this for shock value.”
The baby brand brought us a spot challenging stereotypes before in its modern-parent-messy-life “Parenting, Unfiltered” campaign. Just like that national debut, the “Do Your Partner” spot lacks product placement. And that’s part of the strategy, Sobel points out.
“The goal of our lifestyle marketing has never been ‘the hard sell’ when it comes to the pathway to purchase,” she says. “From our brand’s earliest years, this integrated approach has always helped us to start conversations that are truly relevant to today’s parents by showcasing real, raw experiences in all their different forms. At the end of the day, we want our consumers to think of us as their friends, not as product pushers.”
Client: Plum Organics
Agency: Something Massive
Production Company: Something Massive
Executive Producer: Rebecca Coleman
Creative Directors: Alex Buono, Ariel Broggi
Writer: Ariel Broggi
Line Producer: Adam Reynolds
Head of Strategy: Dana Neujahr
Account Director: Rob Lamplugh