Thriving Creative Partnerships: How WaterWipes and The Brooklyn Brothers provided parents with a solid support community during lockdown
When lockdown came into effect, new parents everywhere were cut off from vital support communities such as friends, families, NCT classes, and more. Suddenly those who they bond with over the frightening and unfamiliar territory of having children, went away. Circumstances made worse by the isolation and anxiety many experienced during lockdown anyway.
The teams at WaterWipes and The Brooklyn Brothers sought to step in and provide a lifeline to these parents; providing a support network that could virtually keep them connected and within touching distance of a helping hand and advice. The Early Days Club is their pivot of the #This IsParenthood campaign and through Zoom enabled them to reach healthcare professionals and other experts to gain advice, but also light relief.
Creativebrief Editorial Director Nicola Kemp talks to Jamie Caul (Marketing Manager UK&I for WaterWipes), Will Sansom (Joint Head of Strategy at The Brooklyn Brothers) and Cali Oliver (Creative Director at The Brooklyn Brothers) about how it was done so quickly, and why when other brands went dark during COVID, they chose to launch a support network.
Marketing Manager UK&I for WaterWipes Jamie Caul has worked with an array of brands, from established large players to new up and comers. Working across industries including FMCG, aviation, travel and banking - building brand identity’s as well as providing brand strategy and development plans at a global and local level across European and North American markets. In his current role with WaterWipes, the World’s purest baby wipes, he continues to be the consumer champion for parents across the UK and Ireland.
Will Sansom is Joint Head of Strategy at the Brooklyn Brothers, where he oversees the strategic output of the agency across clients including WaterWipes, MINI and The Financial Times. He also runs the agency's Night School programme - providing more diverse young creative talent with access to the industry. Prior to Brooklyn, he spent ten years at Contagious which included running the intelligence provider's global consultancy division, working with clients such as Nike, Google and Heineken.
Creative Director Cali Oliver joined The Brooklyn Brothers soon after it started in 2008 and has been integral to the growth of the business working on brands such as Virgin Galactic, TK Maxx and Tate Modern during the early years; now, leading MINI, Castrol EDGE and WaterWipes. Cali was part of the team that pitched the WaterWipes account back in 2017, and she has shaped the creative ever since, including the launch of #ThisIsParenthood.
4 key takeaways from the interview:
1. The specific challenges of lockdown
It’s easy to assume the challenges we’re facing during lockdown are universal. But for WaterWipes and The Brooklyn Brothers it was about their community specifically: how for instance lockdown would effectively cut off a valuable support community and make the distortion of ‘perfect’ parenting seen through the filter of social media even more impactful. As Will Sansom said, it was about asking, “Where in the process of lockdown are parents going to have their self belief challenged?”
2. The value of purpose
To answer this challenge, WaterWipes and The Brooklyn Brothers returned to the purpose that drove their partnership. As Will Sansom said, having such a firm foundation can mean that “whatever the world throws at you and your audience, you can act with more alacrity and credibility.” There was no short-termism; no switch to a different brand dialogue. Instead, they only amplified the level of support they already offered to new and expectant parents. As Jamie Caul said, “It was about doing right by what parents needed at that time.”
3. Baseline of trust
Trust is an essential ingredient of the teams’ work. Parents worldwide place their trust in WaterWipes and the community they’ve set up through The Early Days Club. But it is also evident in how the teams created the campaign behind the scenes. As Cali Oliver said, “Being able to share ideas in that quick and agile way meant the best ideas got out into the world.” Once again, creativity flourished because the teams had a collaborative, trust-based partnership in place. Will Sansom added, “Without that base line of trust, you can’t empower small teams.”
4. Earn your place
“We do have some exciting things down the round which shows that regardless of what happens, we’ll be there to support parents and families.” It was clear that Jamie Caul’s plans for the future focussed on one thing - support. This is the North Star of the work WaterWipes and The Brooklyn Brothers do together. And by creating work that focuses on it, it means they’ve earned their place. Not just in the category and culture, but (as Will put it) in people’s lives too.
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