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Whoopi Helps De-Stigmatize Leakage For Poise

Poise-Whoopi Goldberg

There are now two terms for it. Kimberly-Clark coined one: Light Bladder Leakage (LBL). And actress Whoopi Goldberg, in the company's new marketing push for its Poise brand, coined the other: "a little spritz." 

The humorous campaign featuring Goldberg in a series of Web videos is intended to build a wider acceptance of the problem, build awareness of K-C's Poise pads, and use humor to diminish the stigma attached. The goal: get people talking about a problem the company says affects one in three women. And, of course, sell Poise.

The Web-based campaign includes print and TV ads directing consumers to a new site,, which features a series of 'sodes starring Goldberg as famous women from history such as Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Joan of Arc and Mona Lisa, all of whom apparently experienced LBL.



The effort includes a grassroots campaign this spring via House Party, a company that Ford Motor has also used to promote its vehicles. In this case, there will be some 1,000 "Ladies Who Laugh" house parties in April.

Kimberly-Clark has also partnered with the Women's Health Foundation, a non-profit, to promote the issue. The foundation's research found that 60% of women don't talk about LBL with friends or family and 40% don't talk to health professionals about it.

Joe Kuester, senior brand manager of the Poise brand, says the effort also includes TV ads and print. The print ads feature Goldberg but not the TV spot. "We had 30 seconds to tell our story and really wanted to focus on that," he tells Marketing Daily.

Kuester also said the company's strategies around raising awareness of LBL are similar to those of Pfizer's Viagra, and the whole ED issue. "We looked at how they broke down the issue of impotence and rephrased it as ED to get rid of the stigma attached to it."

In the case of Poise, the company coined LBL to disassociate the condition from a more loaded term -- incontinence -- which is strongly related to old age. "We really wanted to avoid association with a product like Depend; this is not about age," he says. "The average age of people with LBL is 55, but there are people who are a lot younger."

Kuester said the company looked at a lot of potential spokespeople, including athletes and other celebrities. "But we just kept coming back to [Goldberg]." The historical sketches Goldberg performs in the campaign, produced by MindShare Entertainment, are largely improvised.

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