Almost overnight, COVID-19 changed the world. For so many, including parents with young children, it’s been a time full of anxieties and unknowns… not to mention, those young children have been home all day.
As a direct response to this challenge, Brains on Fire and Hello Bello launched Camp Hello Bello with co-founders Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard for the month of April. It served as a direct extension of a brand pillar we laid out during the company’s launch, a Parent Pledge — “We created Hello Bello because parenting is hard. And near impossible to do alone. Our pledge is to join you, in our small way, for life’s stinkiest, most unmissable joy — parenthood. We’re here to be part of your village.”
Camp Hello Bello was curated out of this Parent Pledge to support families through all of life's messy bits, even a pandemic. Quickly, we branded and curated a team of teachers and content to educate and entertain our Hello Bello community. With singing, dancing, storytime, and everything else you’d get from counselors by a lake in the summer. Except it’s not summer. And we’re indoors. Okay, so this was a different kind of camp. Because the kids are at home, all day, and Camp Hello Bello came in to help fill the hours with some extra creativity. And it was all free to our community.
We understood at the time, just a few weeks into taking the pandemic seriously as a nation, that parents were scared, tired, and stressed. We also knew that the last thing they needed was “another company’s response to the Coronavirus.”
Camp Hello Bello became a regularly occurring set of family-oriented content streamed through Instagram and Facebook Live. Leveraging our network of creators, artists, celebrities, and the creativity of our teams, we programmed two-to-three hours of content three days a week to engage babies, kids, and parents.
It was a small way for Hello Bello to join parents across our community. Not to sell them products or even to talk about Hello Bello, but to simply walk with them hand-in-hand through something we are all going through together.
And we opened up the search for “counselors” far and wide. Folks everywhere were losing their jobs, having their work hours cut, and also not being able to do their normal creative work… we asked them to help us through a coordinated press release and announcement on Kristen Bell’s social channels. It was an opportunity not just to connect with our community, but to put them to work, and be paid for it.
By paying the creatives in our community to share their talents with the Hello Bello kids, it created a full circle of support for everyone affected by the pandemic. Over 100 teachers were hired from all around the country to teach singalongs, storytimes, dance classes, and more.
As an extra part of the fun, Kristen and Dax asked their friends to make surprise appearances as counselors too and ended it all with the Camp Hello Bello Blowout: A Night Out for Parents, going live on YouTube with Josh Gad, Evan Rachel Wood, Pete Wentz, and The Avett Brothers. It was a celebration of the beautiful messiness of parenting together, wrapping up a month of Camp together.