Against a sea of mediocre advertising all around, this Johnson’s 30 second spot stands out as refreshingly strong work! In an ad world seemingly dominated by advertising either inappropriately fixated on features and benefits, or way-out creative ideas disconnected from the brand, it’s great to see a beautifully shot and written ad that is strategic, puts the brand’s best foot forward, and burnishes the emotional value of its product.


The key driver of this spot is its emotional power. Being a ‘good parent’ is probably the most important job that most adults ever have. There is almost limitless anxiety and energy to nurture and develop one’s child in ways that give them the greatest advantages in life. As such, being able to successfully address this “anxiety” creates enormous emotional upside. If you can offer a brand experience that helps a parent feel like s/he’s doing a great job as a parent, then you will earn enormous emotional/brand equity.

This Johnson’s ad brilliantly and beautifully leverages this emotional dynamic. It enables their consumers to not just give their child a good bath, but also to nurture and enrich them in ways that stimulates their growth and development. Johnson’s will get your child clean - and “so much more!”


Technically, the ad delivers really strongly on all of the elements of great advertising.


Sound Strategy - the Johnson’s brand is well established as a powerhouse in baby care. Product performance is pretty much a given. The world trusts Johnson’s!


This ad goes beyond physical performance to burnish the emotional value that it delivers. This is the perfect strategy! It increases overall brand value by acknowledging its product benefits and “upping the volume” on its emotional value.


Big Creative Idea - while some BCI’s are over the top in their effort to create laughs, wow, or simply capture the viewer’s attention, the power of this one is in its simplicity. It’s tagline, “So Much More” succinctly captures the essence of it.


There are lush shots of the baby luxuriating in her warm bath, being caressed and cared for by her mother using Johnson’s. The BCI is that not only will your baby get clean, but she’ll get “so much more” - physically, emotionally, developmentally, etc. It’s a simple but powerful message addressing both parents’ need for physical performance from this product, but also acknowledging its emotional potential.


Brand Ownership - with the subtle brand ID on the bottle in the left corner, there’s little question who this ad is from. There’s also a strong brand and product presence at the end that anchors the spot appropriately.

Emotional Hooks - this entire ad is one enormous emotional hook for target consumers! If you’re a parent who - like almost all - is deeply invested in the development and growth of your child, then this ad will speak directly to you. 


Brand/Product Payoff - the ad is paid off by showing the child respond to her mother: her hand, her foot, her smile etc. From a physical standpoint the ad says, “the scent, the lather, even the tiny bubbles of a Johnson's bath are helping to enhance the experience; the touch of your hand is stimulating her senses, nurturing her mind, and helping her development. So why just clean your baby, when you can give her so much more!” It nicely articulates the advantages of a Johnson’s bath, while differentiating it from the competition. Now, of course, we know that lather and bubbles etc. are not unique to Johnson’s, but by seeking to own the broader developmental experience of the baby bath - it stakes out an extremely valuable claim on territory that the competition may have yet to attempt to communicate.


And then, of course emotionally, the ultimate payoff comes from the crescendo of a smile - and look - that builds as the spot ends!


There’s not much to be critical about in this ad. Major kudos to BBDO NY for this wonderful and beautiful piece of strategic advertising!!


The spot is laser focused on just the right physical and emotional levers for its consumers. Perhaps there could be a bit more brand ID. Although the bottle on the left is certainly visible, the logo is somewhat obscure. In the end, it works well (and I actually like the logo obscurity). As a father of four, I certainly recognized the brand. I’m guessing most others will as well.


The only other (super minor) thing is that the brand payoff actually occurs throughout the entire spot. Like the development of a story in a movie, I prefer creating a bit of tension that is finally relieved, paid off, by the ad’s climax. This ad shows the child responding and reacting throughout; but to be clear - this is all good! The smile in the end is the ultimate pay off, and it works!


Extremely nice job on what may be the best ad I've seen all year! 5 Stars!!!!!

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Tags: 5stars, ad, brand., brandstrategy, critique, johnson's


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