The Honest Company Celebrates ‘Honest Moments’ Like Childbirth in Its First Brand Campaign

The launch spot debuted on ABC's The Bachelor this week

YouTube: The Honest Company

The Jessica Alba co-founded Honest Company is launching its first brand campaign, “Honest Moments,” which it says is intended to start conversations with its customers.

It all starts with birth “The Big One,” a 60-second spot featuring real mothers telling their birth stories—complete with actual footage. It’s a fitting way to launch the consumer-goods company’s first campaign, given that Alba was purportedly inspired to start The Honest Company after the birth of her first child.

The Honest Company’s in-house creative team started by looking for mothers who had hired professional birth photographers to document their big moment. As it turned out, many of the mothers, who were later flown in to be part of the campaign, “already felt an affinity for our brand and were part of our community,” Liz Elert, head of creative at The Honest Company, told Adweek. “For them, it was a pleasure to be a part of it.”

The campaign was born on a quiet morning in early June, when art director Joey Manfre and lead copywriter Molly Crabtree-Maul came to Elert with the “moments” idea. Elert said she realized it was “everything we’ve been wanting to do.”

“It’s a big idea,” she said.

From there, The Honest Company went to casting, conferenced ideas, wrote scripts and worked with a production company to shoot 14 spots (a dozen of which were eventually used) over the course of three days in two locations, the most difficult of which involved waiting around for two hours for a baby girl to fall asleep.

The ads were almost ready in November, when the company showed them to will.i.am, who decided they needed to “have their own sound” and provided a musical score.

“The Big One” doesn’t promote a particular Honest Company product. Instead, it serves as an encapsulation of the brand’s “For this moment. For every moment” tagline, relying on the emotional weight of childbirth. The launch spot made its debut Monday on ABC during The Bachelor.

Other spots promote particular lines or products and veer off into much more lighthearted territory. “The Personal Stylist,” for example, promotes Honest Diapers with a look at a mom picking out her infant’s outfit and equating it with office culture.

Other ads cover everything from bringing a baby home for the first time to getting a toddler to eat vegetables to the seductive powers of washing dishes.

“Honest Moments” arrives on the heels of a series of controversies surrounding the company last year, including a lawsuit filed by the Organic Consumers Association, or OCA, last April alleging The Honest Company labeled its Premium Infant Formula as “organic” even though it contained synthetic ingredients. The previous month, The Wall Street Journal reported that The Honest Company’s laundry detergent contained sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, an ingredient the company pledged to avoid using. In September, The Honest Company responded with a new pledge to remove SLS from its detergent.

The campaign also arrives at something of a turning point for the young brand, which was founded in 2011, as it looks ahead to a series of unspecified new product launches Elert says “will reach a lot of people.”

She said it was “time to really communicate what’s important to us and our customers, have that conversation” and “ground ourselves in what we stand for, who we are, what products we have.”

Part of the campaign involves a social media initiative built around the #HonestMoments hashtag, which is intended to start those conversations, build community and possibly inspire future content for the campaign.

“What’s really great about this campaign is that all ideas and moments are welcome,” Elert said, adding that the brand viewed it as an “evergreen” effort that they will continue to build on and evolve.