packaged goods

Kimberly-Clark Launches Campaign For Poise Microliner

Here's a tough marketing challenge: a new product that deals with a physical condition nobody wants to talk about, and for which there are no good euphemisms, which would make talking about it a lot easier. 

Kimberly-Clark has actually been confronting this for brands like Depend for a while now, and their method is to change the conversation so you don't really need a euphemism, because you don't have to hide behind it. 

In this case, however, there really needs to be one, because the only term right now is "light bladder leakage" which affects one in three women, and can be triggered by coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. 

The company's Poise brand is launching a new product for women dealing with this called Poise Microliner, applied as one would a liner, and made of what the company calls "Super Absorbent Material," or SAM. The brand and its creative AOR, the New York office of Ogilvy & Mather, is backing it with a campaign using the SAM acronym as a springboard for humorous, suggestive ads where SAM, because of its application and how a woman in the ad describes it, could easily be mistaken as a man. 



The ad, which will run in 30-second and 15-second variations starting Monday on network and cable, focuses on two women in a PTA meeting. One leans over and describes her relationship with SAM in intimate, physical terms. The other woman is taken aback, as are others who overhear the conversation, until the first pulls one of the pads out of its package to show the other woman. 

Poise Brand Director Blake Boulden tells Marketing Daily that the effort, comprising television, digital advertising and partnerships, product sampling and retail support, is meant to normalize the conversation.

"The strategy is to attract a very new and different person," he says. "And we have very clear message. The key thing is that there are 52 million women suffering from this, and 80% are using either the wrong product or nothing at all. One underlying reality is there's an emotional leap women have to get over to recognize leakage as something they need to manage."

Poise Brand Manager Melissa Dennis adds that the effort includes partnerships with digital properties like Pandora, Linqia, AOL, WildTangent and ShopKick that "help us reach and capture our consumers’ attention.” She says content includes custom programming, articles and video assets placed “where our consumer is searching for informational and entertaining content online." The company is also going to bloggers to help promulgate the message.

Dennis tells Marketing Daily that the company sifted through a lot of creative options before settling on the SAM concept, “Largely because of its lighthearted and unexpected approach, we wanted it to be as innovative as the product.”

In addition to Ogilvy & Mather, Kimberly-Clark brought in Organic's Detroit office for digital elements; Chicago-based Geometry is handling retail marketing; Marina Maher is doing PR and grassroots, and Mindshare handled media, per Boulden.

12 comments about "Kimberly-Clark Launches Campaign For Poise Microliner ".
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  1. Merlynn Bertinj from HRBV, April 14, 2014 at 6:35 p.m.

    That "SAM" commercial was one of the worst pieces of advertising I have ever seen. It was not amusing, in fact it bordered on disgusting. Seriously, "Sam in my pants". way off the mark of being funnny.

    I have never commented on any TV advertising previously, but this commercial was just so awful, that I would never want to see another.

    Anything over $.02 paid for this commercial (and even two cents was generous) was in excess of what it is was worth.

    Personally, I will not purchase this product for the next two months, as I do not want to support the advertising associated with the product. Hopefully, in two months someone at Kimberly-Clark will recognize this ad is not amusing .

    Merlynn Bertini

  2. Linda car from na, April 17, 2014 at 10:44 p.m.

    Your new commercial about the Poise Liner, (I have SAM in my pants) is cheap and very insulting. I have seen stupid commercials that are annoying, but this one takes the cake. I will not buy Poise Pads again. L.S Car

  3. Karl Greenberg from MediaPost, April 17, 2014 at 10:48 p.m.

    Yes, agreed.

  4. Karl Greenberg from MediaPost, April 17, 2014 at 10:52 p.m.

    I think it will get peoples' attention but, I guarantee they will get off that theme faster than bare feet on a Dallas parking lot in July when the comments start rolling in.

  5. R North from MyNorth Media, April 23, 2014 at 6:27 p.m.

    I predict this will be an epic case study in PR. And it will generate a lot of billable hours for Marina Maher. The comments on the Poise Facebook page are volcanic already.

  6. Harriet Klein from Klein and Klein associates, April 26, 2014 at 9:17 p.m.

    The MOST insulting and disgusting commercial I've ever seen. Your sexual innuendo doesn't fit well with my two teen age Christian girls. You are disgusting, and whom ever approved for this commercial to be aired, should be fired. I will not buy your product! This is just filth, I guess everything now has to have a sexual connotation ! Not for us

  7. Harriet Klein from Klein and Klein associates, April 26, 2014 at 9:21 p.m.

    I agree with Merlynn

  8. Patty Trappen from N/a, May 12, 2014 at 5:34 p.m.

    As a parent, I do not want my teenagers to see this absolutely inappropriate commercial! I can't believe someone would think this would sell that product. Worse than a condom commercial. The advertising executive should be ashamed.

  9. k Good from SHHR, May 14, 2014 at 10:44 p.m.

    This is the most disgusting and degrading and trashy piece of ad I've ever seen. So, how about an ad for a jock strap or athletic cup, "I have Melissa in my pants providing support for my junk."
    Stupid and degrading. My friends agree -- we would never buy this product nor allow our daughters to use it. Further, I will not be buying any KC products until this is removed. If you think you have received a lot of hits on the online ad, it's because women are sharing this so they know NOT what to buy. Epic fail.

  10. k Good from SHHR, May 14, 2014 at 10:50 p.m.

    "The strategy is to attract a new and different kind of person..."???? Hmmm wondering what demographic would.... oh, nvm, this is not worth wasting my brain power... I'm going out for my 8 mile run...

  11. Karl Greenberg from MediaPost, May 14, 2014 at 11:33 p.m.

    I'm just reporting herein that I have gotten more comments by far on the subject of this story than I have for any other story I've done. In fact I've gotten more comments here than for any other story I've ever done combined. Which either says something about my stories or this campaign. I"m hoping the latter. I will follow up on this. Let's see what the YouTubes say

  12. Gay Anderson from n/a, May 18, 2014 at 7:24 p.m.

    The ad is offensive. Their intent is to sell pads - it's about the fiscal bottom line - not some touchy-feely desire to reach a needy demographic that supposedly requires a special humor that appeals to a demographic I would rather not be associated with. Once the furor dies down, I imagine the truth will be reflected in sales - or the lack thereof. What these women need is respect and understanding - not registration in the special club where they all share Sam in their pants - and depend on HIM to get through a day. REALLY bad call, KC. I am a lost, and formerly, good customer.

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