- Babies R Us, the sub-brand of Toys R Us that's geared toward parents of babies and toddlers, is undergoing its biggest rebrand since its 1996 inception. The "Be Prepared-ish" campaign developed with ad agency BBDO is a digital-first effort to reach millennial parents across social media and parenting blogs and websites, Business Insider reported.
- The social media campaign features 20 influencers such as nutrition author and TV host Daphne Oz and actress Jenny Mollen. Reflecting the changing demographics of parents, the retailer aims to reach single parents and same-sex parents, as well as shift its image to embracing the more realistic and messy sides of parenting.
- The campaign — which kicked off last week with a fresh brand vision, tagline and plans to revamp its digital app and stores — also asks people to share their unexpected parenting moments and stories with the hashtag #iwasntpreparedfor. The chain wants to position itself as a purveyor of advice with relevant content and a message that parents don't have to be perfect to be good.
Babies R Us is another brand that faces increasing competition from e-commerce companies like Amazon and Target, which both boast a wide range of products and convenient one-stop shopping experiences for consumers. Sister brand Toys R Us reported a 1.4% decline in same-store sales as consumers shifted their shopping habits online, per Business Insider.
By embracing social media, the Babies R Us appears to be reaching out to millennials who are heavy users of mobile media and are comfortable with the technology — and who are reaching the age generally associated with starting or expanding their families. There's also evidence that millennial parents want authenticity in their advertising, something that influencers are typically closely associated with. As such, Babies R Us is the latest parent-friendly brands that has been around for a while that is trying to strength its connection with today's parents with a digital push. In a recent effort, Kraft leveraged humor and perceived taboos against swearing in front of children in a video that went viral.
What both of these efforts share is a message that parents don't have to be perfect, particularly as many new and existing parents turn to "mommy blogs" and the internet for honest advice. To reflect this, Babies R Us' recent efforts aim to meet their customers where they already are via digital videos on social channels and a branded Twitter hashtag to form somewhat of a community around parenting tips.
In the U.S., millennials consists of about 75 million people, making it a larger group than baby boomers and Gen X. Millennial women are waiting longer to become parents than prior generations because of financial constraints that also have led people to delay marriage. Still, 1.3 million millennial women gave birth for the first time in 2015, bringing the total number of millennial moms to more than 16 million, according the National Center for Health Statistics cited by Pew Research Center.
Millennials rated being a good parent as a top priority in a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, and about half of millennial parents said they're doing a very good job as a parent, compared with 43% of Gen X parents and 41% of boomer parents, a 2015 Pew survey found.