Peeling back Orange’s ‘First steps’ misdirect

In this week’s instalment, long-time Canadian creative Craig Redmond presumes that Orange’s ‘Baby Steps’ will inspire audience indignation (and delight). Sign up for the newsletter here

Ah, the misdirect. The most potent weapon in a creative team’s arsenal. Unparalleled in its power, because it is based on the basest of base flaws that has crippled humanity since taking our own first, earthly steps—kindling the narrative embers of everyone from Sophocles and his first Oedipal urges to the twisted brain surgery, M. Night Shyamalan performed on us with The Sixth Sense.

That fatal flaw is presumption.

The arrogance to presume we know the truth before the truth actually reveals itself. Like not seeing that Trojan Horse thingy coming; a jury presuming guilt until innocence is proven; assuming your offside wedding speech joke will go over fine.

Or, as is the case here, presumptuously accusing a parent of committing a crazy act of negligence—as I guarantee all of us will do when first witnessing this blind spot for Orange.

The 10th largest mobile operator in the world, with a whiplashing 266 million customers, Orange has peeled itself a reputation as being the humanist telecom brand.

This latest effort typifies that understanding of the human condition.

Merge the immeasurable joy of witnessing a child’s first steps with the sorcery of being able to instantly capture that moment. Add in a little sprinkle of WTF indignant audience conjecture, and you have that magic alchemy of humanity and technology that Orange conjures.

Baby steps. On camera. Shared, miraculously, in near real time.


Craig Redmond is a creative leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies