Big babies & being silly with a purpose

“What’s your favourite advert of all time?”

I’ve always felt that this is almost an impossible question to answer. Advertising is so subjective and evokes different emotions for different people. Plus, every year, there are countless examples of wonderful pieces of work created from all corners of the world. Instead, I tend to answer this question with the advert that I first remember stopping me in my tracks. This of course is the iconic ‘Live Young’ Rollerbabies campaign by Evian. 

This wonderfully interruptive piece of work was created by Euro RSCG (now Havas) in July 2009. I was aged 12 at the time but remember being in awe of it. It was so different from anything I had seen before and immediately caught my attention. And for that reason, (I think) it’s my earliest memory of an advert. The ad begins with a question to the viewer, “how does drinking Evian make you feel?” Intriguingly, it then cuts to a group of babies dancing and performing roller skating tricks to Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight.’ It’s totally silly, fun and unique. 

Let’s face it, water is a dull product. It’s easily accessible, affordable and readily available. From a marketing perspective, it doesn’t hold a strong unique selling point or additional features and benefits when compared to its competition. I can only imagine how challenging the brief would have been. I would love to know how long it took for the creatives to come up with this big idea and what other ideas they were toying with along the way. Nevertheless, that’s the beauty of this ad for me. The proposition, Evian makes you feel youthful and restores vigour is beautifully brought to life by being silly with a purpose. This is a marvellous example of how a mundane product can be transformed into a big idea to create a simple yet attention-grabbing unexpected execution. 

Believe it or not, this was Evian’s first global campaign – talk about setting the bar high. Interestingly, this was one of the first Youtube exclusive ad campaigns. This helped the brand keep costs down while efficiently reaching new audiences outside of France. Subsequently, it was one of the first viral videos of its kind. It generated lots of media publicity and was shared across social media across the globe. Unsurprisingly, it also won lots of industry awards too. 

Just a year after it’s launch, the campaign had over 102 million Youtube views, 130,000 comments and 500,000 Facebook fans across a number of Roller Baby fan pages. It was so successful that in 2009 the Guinness Book of World Records officially declared Roller Babies as the most viewed online ad. Impressive.

So, to sum up, this beautifully created ad underlines the significance of being silly with a purpose, even when creating work for a drab product. I hope to create something as iconic as this in the future. In the meantime, let’s get through these next six months. Now, where did I put that bottle of Evian. 


Here’s the link to the ad:

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