Outdoor & Events

Crying Baby

J&J / Johnson's® Baby

Issue 44 | September 2017


BBDO New York

Creative Team

Chief Creative Officer David Lubars (BBDO Worldwide) Chief Creative Officer Greg Hahn (BBDO New York) Executive Creative Director Joe Lovering Creative Director/ Art Director Cesar Finamori Creative Director/ Copywriter Kara Goodrich

Production Team

Agency Producers Director of Creative Engineering/ Production JD Michaels Associate Creative Engineer Casey Adams Production Company BBDO Studios Director Billy Siegrist Producer/Line Producer Jonathan Hsu Production Resources Manager Michael Gentile

Other Credits

Agency Account Team Jessica Townsley, Kirsten Romberger On-site Point of Contact Angel Sanchez Support Point of Contact Natalie Brokaw


April 2017


Parents were the main target audience for JOHNSON'S®. To create a connection between JOHNSON'S® and parenting, the brief asked for a special piece of work, a non-traditional way to celebrate parenthood, the beautiful instinct inherent in parents, the impulse to care for and comfort when needed.


An interactive 'Crying Baby' billboard was developed and placed inside Time Warner Center, one of the busiest pedestrian areas in NYC. Passersby saw and heard a crying baby. If they interacted with the baby, he stopped crying and started to laugh and smile. The longer they stayed, the happier the baby became. Then a message appeared: 'There's a little bit of parent in all of us.'

The idea explored an innate human instinct, the parenting instinct. It connected people who cared about babies with the brand that had been caring for babies for over 125 years.


Young and old alike stopped, stayed, shared, and left with a smile. And, many felt compelled to repeat the cycle numerous times so as not to leave the baby crying!

Our Thoughts

As a copywriter I always found poster briefs the hardest to tackle. You have to be ruthlessly disciplined in your thinking to distil a message down to a handful of words and a single image. Though the future of outdoor is digital, the same rules apply.

That said, this idea from BBDO has more in common with a TV ad than with the poster of yesteryear, in which the idea had to be immediately and clearly expressed. This has a reveal at the end of the interaction, a pay-off line that makes sense of the experience. It doesn't make it any easier to do by the way. Getting people to stop and play with a poster is quite an achievement.


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