Kimberly-Clark Launches Social Movement For Depend

Kimberly-Clark’s Depend brand is launching its biggest campaign to date. Called "Drop Your Pants for Underwareness," the effort touts the Real Fit and Silhouette line of products introduced last year, designed to fit and look like regular underwear. 

Perhaps more importantly, the integrated, Millennial-centric campaign uses the idea that raising awareness of bladder leakage as a common problem -- and erasing the stigma associated with it -- requires a social movement.

Also, per Liz Metz, brand manager for Depend, the campaign is meant to address a couple of false ideas about the condition: that it is the bane of the elderly, and one that young and old (and especially young) should suffer alone and silently; and that the best solution for dealing with it is bulky grownup diapers.   

"What we are trying to say is that maybe the perception of the category and product are still dated," says Metz. "Almost half [of people with bladder leakage] are under the age of 50; there are more 20-year-olds than 80-year-olds with the condition. And it affects about a quarter of the population. We took a hard look at what is stopping people from picking out the right solutions, and we are trying to deal with the stigma head on. That was the underpinning of the campaign." She tells Marketing Daily that the effort pairs brand awareness elements with a charitable component that donates to organizations that work on bladder leakage. Kimberly-Clark recently tapped comedienne, actress and “The View” host Sheryl Underwood as spokesperson for the brand. "She deals with this problem herself every day, so she's a great spokesperson for us."

Launching Aug. 6 with a free concert by electro/pop band Capital Cities at New York City’s Pier 97, the campaign comprises TV, print and out-of-home, and digital, including a launch video showing Depend employees advocating for  "Underwareness" by spending their work day wearing nothing below but the new Depend products and doing a rap song, "Drop Your Pants." Elements are at  www.Underwareness.com where people are encouraged to "Drop Your Pants," view videos and photos and engage with Depend brand. 

The charitable aspect of the campaign has Depend giving incremental donations to The Simon Foundation for Continence and United Way Worldwide for every social-media activation: for every "pant drop," photo and video shared, and tweet tagged using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants, the company will donate $1 to the cause over the next three years up to $3 million. The company also donates when users upload a personal video about what Underwareness means to them.

The TV spot takes the social movement idea literally, with a crowd of 20- and 30-somethings marching down a street in Depend underwear as onlookers gape. Print ads have a fashion-brand look with models wearing the products, with the idea that they are little different than a pair of Calvins (when worn by attractive people, anyway). "We feature younger people wearing the products because it reminds people that it's no big deal. It's just like underwear," says Metz, adding that the TV spot is running on ABC, CBS and NBC. She says the campaign will both build awareness and get people with the condition to do something about it, something involving the Depend brand, ideally. "So many of them will delay solving the problem because of the stigma associated with it. Some wait up to a year to find a solution, and we are really trying to make sure we are breaking down those barriers. So many suffer in silence with this because they think they are alone."

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2 comments about "Kimberly-Clark Launches Social Movement For Depend".
  1. Maureen Mc bride from Connoissuer Media , August 4, 2014 at 8:53 a.m.
    Ugggghhhh! So wrong on so many levels. How do these really bad ideas get out of a brainstorming session? Offensive to REAL social issues and activism. Just plain pissy bad idea. Pun intended
  2. Lavon J from Marketing Works , August 4, 2014 at 5:39 p.m.
    Dear writer, Correction: Sheryl Underwood co-hosts the The Talk not the View. You may be thinking of Whoopi Goldberg who appeared in the Poise commercials - also a Kimberly Clark brand. Or maybe Sherri Shepard, she looks a lot like Sheryl...either way, somethings not right in this statement.