Super-vision makes super-ads for Cow & Gate

Guest post from Anne Charbonneau, Managing Partner for France and Benelux.

Converging different local brands to a single global vision is a big challenge,starting with different local brand names, backgrounds
and histories. Danone's global Baby Nutrition team have risen to this challenge, creating a compelling global brand positioning and turn this into a new marketing mix. In this post we look at the new campaign, and the learning from how it was developed.

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A new advert called «Supergroup» is the first bit of the mix, initally launched by Cow & Gate in the UK (the brand is called Milupa and Bledilait in other markets). You can watch the ad below on the blog, or click here. It introduces the brand idea about "the best part of parenting is seeing your little baby become a little person." This is summed up in the tagline, "Feed their personalities". The ad seems to have hit a nerve, with 500,000 YouTube views in its first few weeks.

A series of amusing product ads will complement the brand campaign, delivering fresh reasons to believe (RTB’s) to provide product support to the idea. The first one, about providing hard-to-get nutrients, can be watched below on the blog or click here.  


It's great to
see gobal brand vision projects coming to life so impactfully…BUT how did the team do this?


The first challenge was to align and engage the team of global and local marketers from the start, reaching agreement that there was an issue, and that they wanted to crack it together. Sharing brand and business data was part of this, to remind the team that sales were soft and brand image was pretty un-defined. This bit took time and included some painful sessions where harsh realities had to be faced, but it was essential to the teams to truly
engage and not just pay lip-service to the re-defined vision.


Insight work showed that baby development goes
way beyond nutrition and rational benefits. The team learnt that what baby development really meant for mums and dads is that their baby is truly, and from a very young age, a “little individual”. This human truth was the foundation of the new vision; it came from the team engaging in deep consumer exploration across markets:

  • First, conducting online bulletin board to chat
    with mums and really capture the actual language they were using to talk about
    their baby’s development. This meant the final brand positioning sounded
    genuine and sharp.
  • Later, during the exploration of different vision routes exploration, feedback came from groups of creative mums across Europe. They helped sharpen the ideas and pick the most relevant visuals from a really wide pool that had been put together (including visuals such as this one below). This helped define the visual world that best
    fitted the vision routes.

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The project team spent time scrutinising what had worked well in the local markets; they didn't 'invent' a new personality for the brand.. Looking at the most successful campaigns of the last few years (a French Bledilait campaign later adapted for the UK – Laughing Babies), they saw the potential to really build on past local successes, anchoring the personality of the brand to work at a deeper level that just execution. 



 Making things happen
is often tricky on international projects, where roadblocks are often
hiding up or down the organisation. Severine Brichard-Rooney of the global team reinforced the power of brand vision to face these challenges and make things happen: « When
you have a clear and single minded vision, everything happens so much more

A clear vision also helps speed up the process. The
comms brief was written in a matter of days, as the global agency Euro RSCG
BETC Paris has been actively involved all along. 

In conclusion, this is another example of how using a shared human truth can work as a springboard for a global brand vision that can engage and unite different markets. The vision is
being executed in other markets as I write, so watch that space for the super group of babies to get even bigger!