The organic baby food company’s ‘Happiness Wins’ campaign that debuted earlier this month features real, unscripted parenting moments, including messy mealtimes, delayed departures and bedtime struggles. But rather than concentrating on frazzled parents, each scene focuses on the children’s joy and in doing so strives to reinforce the brand’s ethos that children’s health and happiness are greater than everything.
“As a brand, we have always taken a positive and celebratory view on parenting,” and “as parents ourselves, we saw an even greater opportunity to champion happiness above all, especially in today’s busy and uncertain times, when parents are under pressure and bombarded by the 24-hour new cycle,” said Erica Messina, VP of marketing & e-commerce at Happy Family Organics.
To do this, she explained to FoodNavigator-USA, the brand “deliberately set out to differentiate these videos from what we traditionally see in the CPG space,” which tend “to feature babies in situations by staging, casting and studio production. We wanted to strip away things that can be distracting and really focus in on real, natural parenting moments.”
Real-life campaign reflects changes in how consumers engage with brands
But to uncover those ‘real’ moments, Happy Family Organic’s needed a different approach that included real families – either company employees or friends – and no actors, she said.
“To ensure that we captured these raw reactions from the kids, we knew that we couldn’t show up with a 20-person production crew, so we rigged cameras and hid them in objects and toys … so the children never saw a camera or a crew member,” Messina explained, adding that the cameras were operated by the parents.
The result is a series of short videos and ads that not only are relatable, but also tap into a broader cultural shift that is changing how consumers relate to brands by redefining a ‘good life’ as one with filled with meaningful relationships rather than material positions, said Messina.
For support, she pointed to research commissioned by Happy Family Organics that found 95% of parents believe that ‘achieving overall happiness despite life’s challenges’ is most important to living a good life.
“This sentiment is reflected in both the way we celebrate and capture happiness in our videos using authentic parenting moments from real families, and in the message that we want parents to come away with – that it’s easy to be bogged down in the stresses and pressures of life, but at the end of the day a happy child is greater than everything,” she said.
And while the company fully believes that a happy, healthy child is more important than those chaotic mornings when nothing seems to go as planned, Messina notes that Happy Family Organics also strives to help parents be happier by providing “convenient organic, nutritious meals and snacks that parents can feel confident feeding their little ones.”
These include the brand’s Happy Tot Super Mornings breakfast blends and Happy Baby Clearly Crafted line of pouches and jars made with “organic ingredients traceable to the farm where they were grown,” Messina said.
More than a CPG marketer
Happy Family Organics’ also is using the campaign to fuel social change and meet parents’ expectations that “companies go beyond providing quality products and services by using profits to drive positive change in the world,” Messina said.
She explained that the campaign encourages parents to share candid moments on social media with the hashtag #HappinessWinsChallenge and tagging @HappyFamilyOrganics. For each post, the company commits to donate $1 (up to $25,000) to the non-profit SPOON, which helps provide proper nutrition to children in US Foster Care and orphanages worldwide, Messina said.
Beyond this, she said, Happy Family also offers personal support to caregivers through its free live-chat service on its website, which connects parents to company nutritionists and lactation specialists, she added.
“We know that feeding can be confusing and stressful,” and to date “we have helped over 30,000 parents with anything from low breast milk supply to meal planning for picky toddlers,” she said.
She added the company also uses its scale to “create pathways for happiness that go beyond the nutritious food we offer – from donating millions of meals to families in need and offering our premium products through federal aid programs to partnering with sustainability leaders like Renew Oceans to convert ocean plastics into energy in developing countries.”
[Editor's Note: Want to learn more about how brands are approaching children's food and marketing to parents? Join us next month in Chicago for FoodNavigator-USA's Food For Kids Summit. Check out all the details and register today.]