Celebrities Who Cloth Diaper and Why Does It Matter?
If you look online for celebrities who use cloth diapers, multiple sites will give you the names of celebrities and even cute pictures of the celebrities’ babies; in fact, one site listed over 90 celebrities who have chosen cloth diapers. But is there more to celebrities using cloth diapers than lists?
The New Star-Studded Movement Embracing Cloth Diapers
There are traditionally two camps on who uses cloth diapers. Some think poor people use them because they cannot afford disposable diapers and some think parents “going green” use them to save the environment. Now there seems to be a third camp: a fresh cloth diaper movement led by affluent celebrities who are seemingly “going green.” They can afford either type, but they are choosing the more environmentally friendly cloth diapers. Is their choice that simple? First, we will look at who is using cloth diapers, and then we’ll look at why.
Which Celebrities Are Using Cloth Diapers?
Here is a representative list of some of the stars who have decided to use cloth diapers:
Do Celebrities Using Cloth Diapers Indicate Anything Else?
Celebrities are known for being style-conscious and it seems they can’t resist some of the cute new diaper digs that adorably match other baby attire. People are so obsessed with some of the designer baby gear that websites sell out in minutes and everyone is posting tips where the treasures might be found. Designs like “Audrey,” named for Audrey Hepburn (known for her sense of style), by BumGenius, kept bouncing from being on a waiting list to being in stock for 5 minutes to being on a waiting list. Pssst, we found the “Audrey” back in stock here.
As long as there have been celebrities, there has been a powerful urge to know and copy what the stars are doing. Society often thinks — with their wealth and influence if they choose it — it must be the “thing” to choose. But are the stars making all the “baby item” choices on their own, is this a true movement of environmentally friendly celebs, or is something else potentially going on in the advertising world?
Are Celebrities Using Cloth Diapers the Same as Star Ad Testimonials?
It is almost impossible for us to know what truly motivates a star to use cloth diapers unless a superstar is interviewed and declares a personal and honest endorsement. We do know it carries a different impact when famous people add their voice to this new movement than the average parent. As for paid testimonials, there is one famous example, even though the diaper is not the focus of the ad. Are there any other advertising techniques being used to subtly promote cloth diapers through celebrities?
This selling technique relies on the consumer recognizing the star using the product and believing if the star supports the product, it must be a valuable endorsement. With so many brands to choose from, companies need to guide you to their products, so they hire a star who represents their product well and who will attract the type of consumers who would buy the product. For example, if a company wants you to buy its hair products, it selects a star whose hair epitomizes what the product promises to do with your hair. Mariska Hargitay, hired for a Got Milk? ad because she is a new mom, is photographed with her son, August Miklos Friedrich, but also appearing to promote cloth diapers.
Old-Fashioned Bandwagon Technique
Bandwagon, as a selling technique, relies on the old, low-level psychological persuader we’ve heard since we were kids: “Everyone has one, don’t be the last on the block to get one!” Or as one writer chose to put it, “If all these celebrities are choosing to not use disposable diapers, what are you waiting for?” This technique is really popular and most adults know when it is being used.
Stars Speaking Out on Issues They Find Important
Some stars are outspoken about causes that are close to their hearts. In some cases, they support a cause for only a brief moment and in other cases, they remain long-lasting supporters.
It is interesting to click on an attached link of celebs speaking out for using cloth diapers and the links are no longer active. For example, Maggie Gyllenhall’s brother Jake discussed using cloth diapers on People, and Tori Spelling talked about her thoughts on FuzziBunz and neither link connects to the conversations anymore. Did People Magazine and FuzziBunz remove them, did the stars request the links to go inactive, or is it simply a website glitch?
Some entertainers like Dave Matthews — who was interviewed by People magazine and reported by Good News Network on July 13, 2007– still have links connected. We can still be influenced thirteen years later by reading how he chose to exclusively use cloth diapers for his new son.
A Combination of Testimonial and Speaking Out
Some companies who find a celebrity inspirational, reach out to create a relationship in which the company and the individual start a new product line. The company believes there is an alignment between what the company represents, what the chosen individual represents, and what the consumer wants to represent.
The best example of this is when Tula (seen here) collaborated with Bethany Hamilton in 2016 to create a new baby carrier design. Tula comments, “We celebrate the passion, determination, and loving spirit that Bethany’s story embodies and hope that ‘Soul Surfer’ will help Bethany and other families keep doing what they love. Using her Tula Baby Carrier has become an essential part of her parenting and we decided to collaborate to create a carrier that spoke to her personally. “ Was it all inspirational, was Tula considering the 2 million followers of Bethany’s that would see their product and connect the two or was it a little of both? When Bethany promotes her baby in certain cloth diapers on Facebook, is that the same thing as collaborating with Tula?
The Newest Form of Advertising – Gift Advertising Examples
It is almost impossible to know — unless you are close enough with a star and dare to ask — if the products they are using are ones they actually bought or if the products are gifts from specific companies. Many baby supply companies “gift” their products, and in return hope the star might tweet or put a candid on Instagram with the free diapers or whatever products were gifted? Below are two examples with Bethany’s baby being in a certain brand of cloth diapers. The question is, were these Bethany’s own choices and she paid for the products, or did she receive some diapers and happen to have those diapers on her baby when pictures were snapped and posted on Facebook and Instagram?
Chris Helmsworth and Elsa
There is also the example of Chris Helmsworth and his wife using carriers in an Instagram picture on the beach. One site comments about the photo that the twins are, “comfortably being worn by their parents in LÍLLÉbaby Carriers.” (seen here) This is score time for baby-product companies for two reasons. One, Elsa’s 3.7 million followers are all “catching” her using a cool-looking carrier and asking, “I wonder what brand of a carrier that is?” and two, advertising research shows that people in the diaper-buying generation trust sources more if they are coming from social media. Companies are finding people in the market for cloth diapers or baby carriers on – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
Sometimes these companies are proud to give gifts and state how they are helping a star out, notice the post below:
Jillian Harris, a former Bachelorette and an interior designer on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Love It or List It Vancouver, is above all else an adoring mom to Leo and Annie. Before Annie was born, Jillian mentioned on Instagram that she wanted to try cloth diapers and Lil Helper Cloth Diapers commented, “…we reached out to make sure that she started her journey with the best (and easiest) system possible.” Jillian then mentions in her social media stories that she appreciates that her Lil Helper Cloth Diapers are easy to use and environmentally friendly. There is nothing wrong with a star receiving gifts from companies; it is just important that doting followers understand that the baby items they are seeing might be items gifted for the explicit purpose of product promotion.
Shortly before her son, Milo was born, Alyssa tweeted the following:
We just need to recognize the power that celebrities have to bring whatever idea they are supporting front and center for thousands to millions of people. In media terms this is called “agenda-setting,” and it used to be under the control of mainstream media.
Researchers, in the book Contemporary Ideas and Research in Marketing, found that 85% of surveyed individuals said endorsements enhanced consumer confidence in and preference for a product. They will be initially attracted to a brand because of a celebrity but they will quickly pull away if the product does not perform. It’s the quality of your product that will keep consumers coming back, not a celebrity link. This is demonstrated in a comment a young person left on Bethany Hamilton’s page, she says she got the new Bethany Hamilton carrier, but she wants to know where she can find more information about how to use the carrier and basic carrier information.
More Minor Examples & Statistics
Jennifer Berson, while watching the Mother’s Day special taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was ecstatic when Ellen Degeneres mentioned Little Giraffe baby blankets. A public relations firm had worked overtime to get her Berson’s Little Giraffe on the show and today was payday. The owners of My1st Years.com, Jonny Sitton and Daniel Price, specialize in gift hampers for babies and reach out to celebrities who have recently had children. They sent Dannii Minogue a hamper after the birth of her son Ethan and the e-commerce site secured millions by growing its celebrity clientele, with the likes of Dannii, Binky Felstead, and Elton John.
“Mel C was Mama Designs first celebrity endorsement,” explains owner Keira O’Mara. “She visited the Baby Show where I was exhibiting and I had the opportunity to gift her with a Mamascarf. Later I asked her agent whether she liked it and the answer was ‘yes’, in fact, Mel loved it and wrote me a testimonial to use in my marketing.” Melissa Cassera, a publicity expert at Cassera Communications explains, “If someone is looking at your product for the first time and hasn’t heard much about it, they might be on the fence in terms of buying, but if a consumer sees that a celebrity likes your product, it can give the validation you need and can skyrocket your sales.” Statistically, a recent Nielsen report found that people 65 and over only have a 2 % interest in celebrity endorsements compared to Millennials 14% and Gen Z’s 16%. People in the market for baby products are the ones who are online reading what their favorite celebrities have been doing and using for celebrity babies which translates into a profit for those companies being promoted.
In the media, there is a concept that famous and rich people have the best they can afford before everyone else gets to have “it.” Because the celebrities and affluent people possess it, the average person desires it. Once the average person can afford and get the item, famous people have already moved on to the next thing. Just like celebrities and companies aren’t wrong in gift advertising, the model above is not wrong – it is just how it is.
Famous people are called influencers and this style of advertising is called influencer marketing. According to Eleanor Stancliffe, influencer marketing spends rose through 2019 and continues to rise in 2020 with Instagram remaining the preferred way to reach an audience, but with TikTok starting to creep into the market.
Brands can get their products into the hands of celebrities through gifting, getting a super response at a small expense. Gifting items in exchange for digital acknowledgments in some form of social media is a popular and successful way for influencers and brands to work together. As long as social media remains the standard for how we communicate and learn what is best for our babies, I agree with Stancliffe that this type of marketing will be around to influence us.
What the heck does all this have to do with cloth diapers, baby carriers, and other specialty items? You are a specialized market and most of you are online and interested in testimonials. Just be an informed consumer when companies work through celebrity “followers” to market their products. Understand that some brands are taking advantage of your relationship with celebrities by utilizing celebrities’ social media communities, especially with younger demographics. Some celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, can be paid $20,000 for a 140-character tweet. On the other hand, some celebrities are just supporting the cloth diaper movement, embracing a healthy environment, and matching those adorable new posh-style diapers because they’re just so darn cute. Ultimately, it is the brand/company that must convince consumers why to buy their products, not a celebrity. Make them the ones who need to provide you advice and help you, and not the celebrity. So, ask for the list of celebrities using cloth diapers, but don’t get all “pinned” into one brand or another; it is just for entertainment and only one of many indicators that cloth diapers are the “in” thing to do.