Oh baby! Five reasons why advertising loves babies.
Recently, I became a dad, and being a new father has come with plenty of firsts. It’s been my first time wrangling squirming limbs into a onesie, my first time putting on a diaper (backward, no less), and my first time falling asleep standing up.
Before my son was born, I’d hardly ever held a baby. But I’ve seen babies all over the place and so have you – in advertising, babies are everywhere.
So why does advertising love babies? Well, for many reasons. Here are several.
1. Babies are the cutest.
It hardly takes any market research or knowledge of consumer psychology to realize that people will go gaga for babies on screens, billboards, printed pages, or anywhere. In advertising, these young stars are an old favorite, and that’s not going to change.
Here’s the most obvious reason babies are a hit: they’re adorable. As viewers, we’re the adults, yet we’re the ones left giggling at their angelic faces and baby behaviors that we’re simply hardwired to love.
Even as advertisements and brands have shifted the spotlight off the young and the beautiful and onto authentic portrayals of real people, babies have always been free to be their genuinely cute selves. And like babies with bottles, we drink it right up.
2. Babies are bizarre.
From my observations, babies are good at only about three things: looking cute, dirtying diapers, and sleeping at lengths enviable to any working adult.
But the commercials say otherwise. Ads have featured babies performing roller-skating stunts, leading revolts, and doling out financial advice per the longstanding E-Trade commercials. Of course, the scenarios are ridiculous, but that’s the point. If it’s babies’ chubby cheeks and doe-eyed looks that draw us in, it’s their goofy antics and bizarre behavior that hold our gaze.
Consider our curiosity piqued, and, as viewers, how could we not want to see what happens next? In turn, we’ve no choice but to pay attention to whatever product, service, or commodity is being pitched. No wonder babies are an advertising darling.
3. Babies combine fact and feeling.
Facts sell, feelings sell, and with babies, you get both. When it comes to health, safety, and well-being, parents will do anything for their children, rightly so.
And it takes only an evocative image or surprising statistic to remind parents of their children’s vulnerability. Advertisements in this category don’t need to exaggerate truths, invent scenarios, or even make us laugh; the facts speak for themselves, and the feelings are genuine.
4. Babies tell us what’s important.
It’s almost cliché to say, but have ads ever really sold products? Or have they sold feeling, convenience, peace of mind, glam, happiness?
In line with my last point, parents want what’s best for their children, and they want the products that will be the best, the safest, the most reliable. What’s more important than that? Nothing, according to the ads.
5. We trust in babies.
It’s pretty obvious that any ad featuring babies has been staged and curated for maximum cuteness. But even so, maybe those guileless babies are just easier to believe than some paid spokesperson or underpaid actor.
After all, it’s hard to disguise babies’ genuine laughter and happiness; those little smiles are as sincere as they come.
Honestly, there are dozens of other reasons why babies are so popular in advertising. But I’m out of ideas. As I write this, it’s 4am, and I’m on the night shift watching my son. So I’m spent.
But we love sharing new ideas. Need help creating stellar ads? Contact us. We’ll come up with some ideas that, even if they don’t involve babies, might just make you giggle.