January 16, 2013 by Charlie Walker
Posted in: communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing
The latest advertising campaign from Kimberly-Clark starts out as cute but veers dangerously close to being creepy. It’s a celebration of a toilet-trained child’s “first flush.”
The focus is on fanfare over mastering the potty process.
The company’s brand director is hoping the “first flush” will join the pantheon of other childhood firsts: first tooth, first day of school, first haircut, etc.
The goal is to make potty training as painless as possible for all involved.
Kimberly-Clark wants to make it “easy and fun” to introduce children to the “ritual” (their word) of using the toilet.
Ultimately, the company is promoting its Huggies Pull-Ups, hoping to introduce parents to the product as a critical element in mastering the mysteries of the commode.
Sales of training pants have been sagging since the recession, as many parents have opted for cheaper products.
Surprise! Fanfare at your door
But the TV advertising campaign borders on odd, if not creepy.
The ad features a real family — not actors — with a child beginning to go through toilet training.
In the ad, the toddler tugs at the handle and achieves his first flush. Proud parents beam.
But then there’s a commotion outside the house.
The family opens the front door and sees the source of the commotion: A parade to celebrate that first flush is going by the house. It has floats, acrobats and a marching band.
The family’s reaction is genuine. They weren’t told beforehand this was part of the process.
If nothing else, this commercial might get parents’ attention.
“What would I do if my child was mastering potty training — and a parade was going by the house to celebrate it?”
There’s more, of course.
A mobile application called the Pull-Ups Big Kid App reminds parents when Junior should saddle up. It includes articles, training tips, videos, songs, congratulatory calls from Disney characters and a reward system.
Once a child has earned enough stars for good behavior, the app makes available 3D games that can be played online.