packaged goods

Kim-Clark Depends On Male/Female Difference


Kimberly-Clark's new campaign for Depend Underwear for Men and Depend Underwear for Women in Prints and Colors comes in both varieties: there's an ad component for men and one for women. Even the new Web site,, is bifurcated with "Men's Solutions" and "Women's Solutions" section.

Blake Boulden, Depend brand manager, tells Marketing Daily that the company is thinking hard about ways to separate the men's and women's Prints and Colors products vis a vis both retail positioning and media strategy.

"We still are merchandising both men's and women's in the same areas at retail, though we are starting to break them apart so you get a sense that there's a men's section and women's section.

"We haven't addressed how to do that just yet, but I think that there's two camps of thinking: one is if you put men's [Prints and Colors] over by the shaving cream, the razors and deodorant, that would be the ultimate discretion, but the concern is migrating consumers if these products aren't in the section where you expect to find them. Does that create more confusion? We are investing in research on that."



He says that pitching men and women separately will become more important as the category admits legions of boomers entering their Sixties, and as the Depend brand thinks of new ways to extend the product range away from somewhat emasculating gender-neutral incontinence products.

"Right now, we are sitting on a key inflection point where the first boomers are turning 65; the average user is 65, so we will see many more people coming into the category," says Boulden.

Meanwhile, the new "People Know" campaign, via JWT, New York -- timed with retail distribution of Prints and Colors SKU's -- focuses not on elderly people getting out to play shuffleboard, but on active family types and type-A professionals.

One of the ads in the documentary-style campaign has an orchestra conductor getting ready for a big performance, as seen from the perspective of a fellow orchestra member.

"What do people know about Kim?" says the ad, as the friend says things like: "... she cannot set up a music stand ... they know that she always forgets where she puts her 'magic wand,' but when she finds it, she makes magic happen." The spot concludes with Kim saying, "People know a lot of things about me, but no one needs to know about my condition."

Another female-targeted print ad has a female obstetrician saying "People Know I've delivered 2,397 babies. And Counting. But no one needs to know about my condition. And thanks to Depend, they don't."

One male-targeted print ad features an image of a male business owner with the message: "People Know I own the fastest-growing business in town. But no one needs to know about my condition. And thanks to Depend, they don't."

Two TV spots, in both 30 and 15-second versions, will run on ABC, CBS, Lifetime, TV Land, and GSN. Print will run throughout the summer in titles like AARP The Magazine, Golf Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, More and Prevention Select. Online elements will run on Meredith Woman's Network, and AOL Health.

Says Boulden: "From a campaign perspective, the thing we want to have come through is we are targeting people who value close relationships in life and personal achievement. So the men's spot is really a family campaign showing close relationships. The female spot is about professional achievements -- that was one of things we wanted to demonstrate: that we know that these are key areas people want to see their life continue with in terms of normalcy."

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