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.