Blog Post

New Ads Use Webisodes to Reach Moms

Johnson and Johnson launched an ad campaign aimed mothers this week, built around a series of animated webisodes for its pink Johnson’s baby lotion (we mentioned it in Vid-Biz). In an online world where most videos target 18- to 34-year-old males, this small, focused, maternal campaign stood out.

mariska.jpgThe web is fast becoming the place to market to moms. According to mom marketing group BSM Media, 80 percent of moms have watched an online video in the last week.

“Moms are online in record numbers,” said Lori Dolginoff, Johnson and Johnson PR Director, “we’ve seen huge increase in the mommy blogosphere, and it’s important to reach moms in new ways.”

The campaign aims to highlight the emotional bond between a mother and baby by putting the mom in real world scenarios. There will be a total of four episodes. The first was “Baby Massage Class” and the next two are “Tickles, Wiggles and Giggles” and “Birthday Party.” They’ll be released every two and a half to three weeks. There’s a fourth episode based on the upcoming Olympics, but the company kept that one hush-hush. The ads are meant to entertain while providing educational tips.

“Moms online are really interested in gaining knowledge and sharing with other moms,” said Dolginoff, “They are quite an involved audience.”

“With TV, we’re focused on creating emotional connection with the mom,” said Dan Hoeller, Johnson and Johnson Assistant Product Director, “Online, it’s more about the education, talking to more relevant things that are more day to day for mom, because you have a more extended interaction online.”

Though the campaign has a new media feel, in talking with Johnson and Johnson, it was clear that they were still clinging to some old media habits. For instance, the baby is voiced by Law & Order star Mariska Hargitay. The belief that a “star,” brings something special to a campaign, especially when you can’t even tell its her, seems like an unnecessary expense (Johnson and Johnson declined to discuss how much the webisodes cost).

Additionally, the videos are not embeddable. You have to go to a corporate web site in order to see them. If the company really wanted to get the word out — it should enable people to get the word out. Let the mommy blogosphere embed each episode. (The only reason we could embed the video is because the Wall Street Journal put the video in its Brightcove player).

Because the campaign is so new, Johnson didn’t have much data to share. Though the reps did mention that when they tried to translate the “Massage Class” episode into Spanish, the dialogue ran longer than the original animation, so new scenes had to be added.

It will be interesting to see how successful this campaign is for Johnson and Johnson and whether this foray into online video will be an experiment, or sea change in marketing for the company. Hopefully they won’t do an about-face and suddenly create webisodes targeting 18- to 34-year-old dads.