Q&A: Jessica Alba On Honest's New Content Campaign

When actor Jessica Alba hatched the Honest Company back in 2012, she wanted to put better-for-you baby, household and beauty products directly into the hands of other young moms. And of course, the company, with its wild ride of high-flying valuations, product recalls and a strong second act, has done that.

Alba has always been haunted by the recollection of how lonely pregnancy can be. So the company is kicking off “I Never Expected,” an ambitious 20-episode video series, created in partnership with ATTN. She calls it “an unconventional love letter to mamas,” and tells Marketing Daily what she hopes it will do for the Honest Company brand.

Q: Why start a content campaign like this now?

It was always my intention to create a brand that holistically approaches milestones in people's lives around health and wellness, like being pregnant and becoming a mom
for the first time. It's the type of content that I wish existed for me when I was pregnant. It's one of the most lonely and confusing times. And even though I've done it three times, every time it doesn't feel any less isolated.



Q: Lots of marketing is aimed at new parents. What are you trying to do differently?

It’s so often told through a very medicinal lens or maybe a little bit more of a cynical lens. I wanted there to be more of a sisterhood, a kind of friendship and community. There's so much on babies, but very little content out there that talks about the mom and her well-being.

Q: What makes pregnancy feel like such an important opportunity for the brand?

While you're going through it, even if you know intellectually what’s happening, there are so many emotions and hormones and body aches. There’s excitement and fear, and it’s all happening in your head in those quiet moments, like when you're driving in the car or late at night when you can't sleep. And you’re growing this little person.

I feel like this is my love letter to mamas out there, going through one of the biggest milestones of their lives. I wanted to show a community of women like them -- and that's why the series shows women from different socioeconomic backgrounds, women from different parts of the country, different types of family dynamics -- because all of these stories are important.

Q:There are all kinds of mothers here: single moms, military families, gay couples, even a young mom who is a breast cancer survivor. How did you find them?

We worked with ATTN to do the casting and they just had a really great approach. The content is very authentic. I can’t think of a better partner for this.

Q: This campaign speaks directly to women, and selling directly to them has also been a big part of Honest’s success. Why has that D2C focus been so essential?

It was always important when I was building the brand to have a direct relationship with the consumer. That’s what was lacking out in the marketplace. You’re using these baby products countless times each day, and on these important little people with the most vulnerable systems.

And while you're pregnant, the products that you use are incredibly important and have an impact on your health and the baby's health. It’s a big deal. So I really wanted to keep in line with that direct relationship, and deliver content to them in a way that feels right.

Doing something more conventional, more traditional is just not where our consumer is. Our consumer likes having a one-on-one relationship. Our consumer loves to read and understand and unpack the intention around a brand, the values that you stand for.

And while I totally love and appreciate my retail partners, there's nothing like that relationship that I can have with the consumer. And it goes two ways. They help me build a better company that meets their needs.

Q: Any of these stories in the campaign a particular favorite?

I relate to all of them. That's what was so nice about having this variety. Even if we’re different, there's so much that is similar and that we can relate to.

Q: What’s next? Will Honest continue this kind of filmmaking?

We'll see how this one goes. But based on early responses, I think there is nothing but opportunity to expand these narratives and this type of storytelling. It just makes people feel like they're not alone and that someone is on this journey with them.

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