In The Mini Factory, the latest ad for French clothing company Petit Bateau, child labor is used to express the brand – and it’s not as negative as that sounds.
In the spot, a dog walks into a factory. Inside, a kid is making shirts, but doing so not against his will, but with the youthful fun a kid has when playing with their toys. With everything in the factory being colorful, the kid uses toys to make his production line work. Whether he’s shooting cupcakes, launching rocket launchers or dancing on a piano – all the contraptions fuel the domino effect of his line to create the clothing.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a bizarre concept to use child labor as a selling point, but the message being sent is the clothes are made with fun-natured children as inspiration, not that they are made via unfair labor laws.
“We looked at the product and thought, Petit Bateau’s clothes are made for kids who like serious fun and action, so let’s celebrate that!” Paris agency BETC told AdWeek. “We also got inspired by other ads and artists, from the Skoda Cake ad”—which explains all the confectionary delights—”to the work of Swiss artist Jean Tinguely.”
The production wasn’t just thrown together either, as this behind the scenes video shows the intense production that went in staging the spot.
The concept shouldn’t work, but it does. Although I can see how some may take offense to the idea as child labor is no laughing matter.