Waterwipes: How showing ineffectiveness proved to be dramatically effective for a plucky little Irish business

Agencies: DDFH&B and OMD

Introduction & Background

The story of WaterWipes demonstrates the effectiveness of advertising in its purest form - i.e. take a great product, bring it to the masses in the right way and watch demand become so great that you have to build a brand new factory just to keep up with it! To fully appreciate the story of the brand, we need to first briefly tell the story of the man behind it - Louth native Edward McCloskey.

Edward's father set up the Boyne Valley group, so Edward grew up in a culture that encouraged entrepreneurial spirit. From early on in his career, he constantly strived to develop new products and new solutions for problems that, in most cases, had gone unrecognised by others. The quest that led to WaterWipes was no different. It began in 2006 when Edward became a parent and his daughter suffered with severe nappy rash. This prompted the always-inquisitive Edward to investigate what was actually in the baby wipes his family was using. He was horrified to discover that even wipes claiming to be pure or for sensitive skin were choc full of chemicals. He wanted a chemical-free wipe and when he couldn't find one, he set about inventing it.