Disney Brand Taps Moms' Marketing Magic

There's no better gold star than a glowing review from a mom who has tried the product. So when Baby Einstein put plans in place to create a national advertising campaign and redesigned Web site, it turned the spotlights and the cameras on real moms to tell compelling stories.

Marketers know personal experience and word of mouth ranks highest when it comes to unearthing the dirt on products and services. In a crowded product category like children's toys, clothing or best places to shop, where there are so many options for child development and learning, there's nothing more powerful and credible than the feedback from real moms that have first-hand experience, according to Shari Roseboom, mother of two children under the age of two from Hacienda Heights, Calif.

"There's not a one-size-fits-all product for every baby like manufacturers would like us to believe," she says. "Moms want to discuss different options for tackling everyday challenges and helping with developmental milestones. Advertisers can give us the best-selling features of a product, but we're still going to run it by our friends and research what other moms think."

Giving a place for moms to share baby stories and experiences, Baby Einstein rolled out the first phase of an integrated campaign recently with the redesigned Web site. It features many real-life stories from moms around the country, along with consumer-submitted photos of baby and mom together.

The site, designed by San Francisco agency Real Branding, also features tips on interacting with baby, testimonials from other parents on favorite toys, and videos of babies and parents playing together with Baby Einstein products. The "Hot Topic" section offers information on child development from experts who answer questions from moms and caregivers, such as "What is the best way for my baby and me to watch DVDs together?" The site offers information in Spanish, too.

Following the site launch, The Walt Disney Co. subsidiary, headquartered in Glendale, Calif., plans to unveil a four-piece print campaign dubbed "Real People. Real Discoveries." Created by Los Angeles' Siltanen & Partners Advertising, the campaign spotlights three moms and one grandmother who share personal stories about special moments and discoveries with their kids, grandchildren and Baby Einstein products.

Baby Einstein plans to run print ads next month in American Baby. The campaign in April moves into Babytalk, Parents, Parenting, Cookie, Ser Padres, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, O! Oprah Magazine, and Martha Stewart Living. Online publications include Family.com, Parents.com, iVillage.com, and Evite.com.

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