Why baby brands need to be inclusivePublished on
Pura's ad campaign - It's Time For A Change - featuring the cutest of spokesbabies, has had around eight million views to date!
As well as being a fantastic way to spread our eco message, our campaign has received plenty of press attention for being inclusive - especially for featuring little stars Lenny and Willow, who both have Down Syndrome.
We're proud to be the first baby wipe brand to do this.
Vikki Rooney, Lenny’s mum, talks to us about what being involved in the campaign has meant to their family, and how the ad is helping change perceptions.
How did you feel when you learned that Lenny had been selected to be part of the Pura campaign?
Lenny with his baby sister Nell (8 months) and his big sister Izzy (6)
I honestly didn’t think Lenny would be chosen! And when I found out, I was ecstatic! I called all my family and friends straight away. Both me and Lenny’s dad, Stephen, are so proud of him.
Lenny got his first modelling job before he was two - not many other two-year-olds have achieved that. Having Down Syndrome makes him extra amazing. He wouldn’t be Lenny without his extra chromosome.
How was the filming experience? Did Lenny enjoy himself?
It was lovely to have a trip to London (as we live in Liverpool). The shoot was an incredible experience! Lenny was quite funny, the Pura team wanted him to have a grumpy face and the only way we could get him to not smile was to play his favourite music then turn it off! He was shouting for it to be put on again. But he loved the toys they had on set; it was very relaxing for him. Lenny was so well behaved. He loves to be centre of attention, he loves the camera and most of all he loves people. Lenny is a very easy going and laid back little boy, he didn’t once cry. He aced it!
In your opinion, why is it important to be inclusive in advertising?
The world needs to be accepting towards everyone and especially towards people who have a disability. Advertising is seen by millions of people; it’s an excellent way to show that having a disability won’t stop anyone achieving their dreams. People like to know that a brand is inclusive. Times are changing and people are seeing the person behind the disability, rather than just a disability. Having Lenny and Willow - who both have Down Syndrome - represent Pura is truly incredible. It will massively help shape the future for our children.
Do you think that Lenny's role in the Pura ads will change how people look at babies and children with Down Syndrome?
Lenny and Willow star in Pura's campaign
Oh definitely! For people to see Lenny on social media, and especially on the TV advert, shows that people with Down Syndrome can achieve anything! It shows acceptance and that he is just a little boy who is like any other child.
I believe that all companies should make a stand to promote understanding of disability and Pura has gone above that by having both Lenny and Willow represent the brand. Just by watching the advert, you can see Pura is truly invested in making a difference. Everyone should be given opportunities, regardless of disability or race. It shows that everyone matters.
How do you think Pura’s campaign will help new parents who have a baby with Down syndrome?
I’m a midwife and I also volunteer for the Positive About Down Syndrome Charity, helping to support expectant mums who have either had it confirmed, or been told there is a high chance, that their baby has Down Syndrome. I also help another charity, Wouldn’t Change A Thing, so I know from first-hand experience that for those expectant parents, and for new parents, Lenny representing Pura helps them see that their baby will be just as amazing as he is. It gives them some positivity and reassurance at a time when they may be worried, anxious and frightened about their baby’s future.
As a mother, you want your child to be accepted and the whole Down Syndrome community is working endlessly to change negative perceptions of people with Down Syndrome. Pura has played a huge part in helping to change negative perceptions and to show that people with Down Syndrome can become models, and they can have a great, fulfilling life.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Lenny with his Pura book
Pura’s campaign “It's Time For A Change” is about helping people to be eco-friendlier. But by choosing babies with Down Syndrome -like Lenny- to represent their brand, Pura is also helping to change and shape our children’s future for the better.
I wish the founder, Guy, Abi and baby Ezra luck for their future. I know they will do well as Pura is a fantastic brand. I can’t thank them enough for choosing Lenny - they will actually never know how grateful I am. The majority of people put their children into modelling to make money. I chose to put Lenny into modelling in the hope he would get a job and he would have his little face in the public eye, showing everyone how amazing someone with Down Syndrome is. We wouldn’t change a thing about Lenny.
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