The evian babies are back in a new campaign through BETC Paris that sees more cute characters return to revive its Live Young ethos.
In a world of constant swiping, notifications and social media updates, the lead ad (bottom) reminds us of what’s important in life and comes with a sustainable message to reflect the fact that evian aims to become circular by 2025.
Helmed by duo Vania & Muggia via Iconoclast with post from Mikros Image, the ad is set to a hip-hop rendition of The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book and includes a cameo from former tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza.
Below, Nicholas Bakshi, copywriter, and Erika Reyes, art director, at BETC and Patricia Oliva, VP of marketing at evian, explain the thinking behind the concept and why it will resonate as it debuts in France, UK, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany today.
What was the brief?
BETC: The evian babies have been one of the most successful and iconic advertising campaigns in history. Our brief was to move that history one baby step forward by redefining ‘Live Young’ to fit a more contemporary understanding of youth.
EVIAN: Up is not the only way to grow. In creating this campaign, we knew we needed to adapt our babies to an evolving world, to give them a voice that reflects a more conscious youth of today. So, we set out to create a campaign that would advocate for a life lived with intention, with purpose where we find joy in taking care of the things that matter most.
How did the initial conversations/pitch/brainstorming phase go?
BETC: We can safely say we really explored all the possibilities with this brief. Early on, we discussed using The Bare Necessities as a track and it just sort of stuck. The more we thought about the lyrics the more we thought this is actually kind of exactly what we want to say.
From there it was straight forward that the babies should be the ones delivering the message and the music video style made sense because a) we like it and b) music videos are one of the largest stages on which our generation puts its anthems and philosophies. Just look at This is America from Childish Gambino, for example.
Tell us about the concept and why it was the right choice?
BETC: Youth today is educated and involved but not preachy about it (most of the time). And that’s really the spirit that Baloo (the bear from The Jungle Book) embodies. He has this contagious swagger. He’s confident about what he knows, but not rubbing your face in it. We wanted to take that swagger and that sort of fundamental knowledge and relaunch it for today’s audience.
At a time when we’re so caught up in swiping and scrolling through things that don’t really matter, we would love for people to get back to those basic truths that guide us to the good life. To follow their inner baby.
What was the biggest challenge?
BETC: This is the first time we’ve worked with babies and the process was… different. There were moments on set when everything would suddenly stop and we’d be like, “wait, what’s going on?” only to learn that our star talent needed a lil nap. It was a new and unusual process that surprised us every step of the way. The babies were sensitive to our mood, so we had to stay positive on set. It created a very cool atmosphere but demanded a lot of patience and persistence.
What’s the main message and why is it important?
BETC: If we listen to Baloo, nature has given us everything we need to be happy and healthy. Now it’s up to us to take care of those things. That’s why we’ve signed our spot: “Long live mother nature’s recipes.” It’s a rallying cry to look after the parts of ourselves and planet that nature made pure.
EVIAN: The babies have evolved in the same way youth has. In the past, the idea of youth was carefree, joyful, dynamic. Today youth is more conscious, active and involved. Our babies reflect this evolution. They are a metaphor of youth: still full of energy and fun, but now they are more invested than ever in taking care of their bodies, minds and planet.
Why will the ad resonate with consumers?
BETC: Well, to address the adorable fat-fingered, chubby-faced, elephant in the room: babies are super cute. But more importantly, they’re also now delivering a message that we really hope will strike a chord with people.
EVIAN: To share our new Live Young attitude in an impactful way, we didn’t only develop a commercial. It is of course the hero piece of our campaign, but we have a much larger ecosystem that embodies the new Live young ethos with print, digital out of home, social and on-pack activations. Based on three baby gangs that represent the new Live Young ethos across three different mentalities – mind (voguers), body (tennis) and urban (bikers) – we believe they will resonate to each of use helping ourselves and our planet to live young.
What’s the most interesting fact about the campaign that will help it cut through?
BETC: After countless ideas and attempts to break the brief, the one thing that we couldn’t get out of our heads was the song The Bare Necessities. For us at least, it’s insanely catchy. And we might even love Jay Prince’s version more than the original (big props to the music production team at GUM). We’re hoping it will get stuck in your heads like it got stuck in ours.
What do you hope it achieves for the brand now it’s out?
BETC: We really hope this will shift the understanding of and breathe new life into the Live Young platform and help evian reinstall itself in pop culture.
EVIAN: We have the same ambition as per all evian Live Young campaigns, to continue to surprise and delight our consumers by bringing to life the evian brand attitude.