Parenting Is Overwhelming, Pampers Admits in Sweet New Ads, but We’re All in This Together

The brand highlights real parents and the support of 'fellow travelers'

Pampers is aiming to show the real, and often nerve-wracking, aspects of parenting in its latest campaign. Pampers
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They say nothing can prepare you for parenthood, which isn’t exactly a source of comfort for those who are new to the gig and—likely on the brink of exhaustion—could use a few tips or tricks.

In a new Pampers campaign, the uncertainty, fears and everything else that come with parenting are acknowledged in a one-minute spot that aims to paint a realistic picture of what having a child is like.

The ad, created by McKinney, imagines parenthood as a strange new place, where the “locals are rowdy” and you don’t speak the language. These descriptions are paired with imagery that most any parent can relate to, like a bleary-eyed mom turning to Google in hopes of finding out what’s wrong with her baby.

While trying and full of surprises, this curious new place is also filled with “fellow travelers” (aka other parents) who are there to lend a helping hand—or at least a knowing nod. Case in point: when a frazzled father changing his baby’s diaper in a public restroom realizes he forgot to pack wipes, another dad lends him some on his way out.

In the end, the P&G brand consoles parents by reassuring them that they’ll eventually come to learn the many “secrets, hotspots and shortcuts” that this brand new world has to offer.

The “Love the Change” campaign also includes two shorter spots, which are running on TV and online.

According to P&G, nearly every scene in the campaign features real parents and their kids instead of actors. The company also said the work was developed in partnership with parents on its advertising and Pampers leadership teams.

“Becoming a parent brings lots of change—how you see the world, what’s important and who you are fundamentally shifts when baby arrives,” says Andre Schulten, P&G North America vice president of Pampers and father of two. “So I’m excited we’re celebrating that reality with our Love the Change film, led by a team of parents, offering an authentic and realistic understanding of what parenthood is today. At Pampers we want to support parents and babies as they go on this journey together.”

The spots were directed by Lisa Rubisch of Park Pictures, with music composed by Kari Steinert (both are moms, as well).

The sentimental effort marks a shift from some of the diaper brand’s recent work, which has largely taken a lighthearted, humorous approach via John Legend and his “Stinky Booty” song. Earlier this year, Pampers created Super Bowl buzz by featuring halftime performer Adam Levine alongside Legend in an online spot, where the two crooned the “Stinky Booty” tune with help from a choir of Baby Bjorn-ed dads.

The brand’s latest work rings similar to its 2015 “Hush Little Baby” campaign, which illustrated the many ways a baby’s life is impacted by the kindness of others (like an uncle who quits smoking, or a businessman who takes time to help a mom carry her baby’s stroller up the subway stairs).

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@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.