Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

A peak into Kimberly-Clark advertising you won’t see

March 11, 2009

Tony Palmer has been rallying Kimberly-Clark to try out new campaigns since he became its first chief marketing officer in late 2006. He even put together a commercial that he shows to staff, featuring the company’s Cottonelle brand. While we cannot show it here, we did see it at the Promotion Marketing Association’s annual integrated marketing conference this week. Let’s just say a guy swings from a fire hose and then lands uncomfortably on his bottom. The tag line: “If you’re not nice to your ass, you’re an ass.”

No, consumers will not see that commercial. Palmer just uses it to get marketers to take more risks. Huggies is now a little edgier with its advertisements, including a “geyser” of urine splashing around when a father removes his son’s diaper. 

There’s also the Pull-Ups Potty Dance: 

Palmer mentioned how easy it is today for people to create their own spots.

A couple of years ago, Kimberly-Clark got customers to create their own commercials, a la PepsiCo’s hit Doritos ad at the Super Bowl earlier this year. Kimberly-Clark took a disposable mask it made for healthcare workers into the do-it-yourself segment. Then DIYers submitted videos showing how the Duckbill masks kept them clean during extreme projects. Besides drawing laughs, the campaign — which cost just $20,000 — helped boost Duckbill’s business by 300 percent, Palmer said. Duckbill is still small for the company, but anything that pads the bottom line — even if it’s not toilet paper — has got to be getting some attention these days.

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see