Kimberly-Clark Launches Largest Campaign Ever For Its Depend Brand

The New Depend Kimberly-Clark's Depend brand is rolling out the first gender-specific underwear in the $1.2 billion adult care category with the largest single ad push in the history of the brand. The effort, via JWT, Chicago, includes TV spots directed by Erol Morris, who won an Academy Award in 2004 for "The Fog of War."

Launching today and running through December, the effort includes TV, Internet, print, direct, and point-of-purchase, with ads running on network, and a range of cable channels devoted to home and health. Ditto the Web buy: WebMD, the Health Central Network, Quality Health. Magazines include books like AARP, Ladies Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping.

The ads -- like Morris' work in "Fog" and other films -- are unscripted, documentary and set on a white background. They feature simply staged people speaking extemporaneously, about how men and women approach things differently in their minds. One spot, for example, has a man and a woman commenting on how the opposite sex approaches merging into traffic -- both with disastrous results.



Blake Boulden, Depend brand manager, says that the campaign goes far beyond simply pointing out that men and women are different. The larger design was to move away from earlier ads that promulgated an idealized view of what older Americans think and do and acknowledging the category's stigma. "In the past [Depend] ads were almost this overly fantastic expression of what the older generation does," he says.

"One of the key elements of the new campaign is a certain level of authenticity -- showcasing real people, since this is such a real issue for so many people. It's not an aspirational category; nobody wants to have to use [Depend], but the fact is that 27 million people will be dealing with this, so part of the role of Depend is to provide normalization of the category, and part of the goal of the campaign is to humanize it -- not only demonstrate that Depend understands the difference between men and women."

Boulden says the campaign still keeps the "Best Protection" message, although with less focus on product and features, and that the creative platform will be extended. "Without going into too much detail, there are a lot of opportunities around viral communications," Boulden says.

Boulden says the category is more heavily weighted to women -- about 80% of those with incontinence are women, and it is more of a problem for women over time. The prevalence of prostate disease, however, means that more and more men are becoming incontinent through medical intervention as they age. Boulden notes that one out of six men develop prostate cancer (although the web of issues surrounding PSA screening, cancer diagnosis, and whether some prostate cancers should be treated at all has become more and more tangled). A recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 11% of men 60 to 64 years of age were incontinent -- and the percentage rises to 31% among men 85 years old or older.

The company will kick off a separate campaign in June on Father's Day, timed with Prostate Awareness Month -- featuring celebrities and athletes and using the same straight-up style of communications about prostate screening and cancer, Boulden says.

1 comment about "Kimberly-Clark Launches Largest Campaign Ever For Its Depend Brand ".
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  1. linda gordan, July 26, 2010 at 2:08 p.m.

    i get my parents depends at this site think they are the best and easiest to work with

    My Health And Safety


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