DANA POINT, CA: Kleenex, the iconic tissue line made by Kimberly-Clark, successfully enhanced its brand saliency with a campaign based around the power of simple, but meaningful, social connection.

Lisa Hurwitz, VP/global brand design at Kimberly-Clark, discussed this subject during a session at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Brand Masters Conference.

More specifically, she reported that the “Someone Needs One” program, which encourages people to offer a tissue as a gesture of kindness, helped the brand reverse an extended period of declining sales.

“Empathetic storytelling is critical. You have to empathise with the consumer. If they’re not inspired, why would they want to engage with Kleenex?” she said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: How even a brand icon has to find new ways to fight.)

William Rosen, CEO at VSA Partners, the Chicago-based creative agency that worked with Kleenex on this initiative, explained that millennials and mothers were two key target audiences.

“As different as these groups were, we discovered they shared something in common: A disproportionately high value that they place on empathy and on showing care through human connection,” he said.

Given this backdrop, Kleenex was able to build deeper ties with these socially-orientated consumers by demonstrating the tangible impact of a small act of kindness at a time of emotional need.

“Kleenex had an opportunity to fill the gap to create saliency and social proof as it combated inertia. Even in an apathetic world, Kleenex could be a gesture of human connection,” Rosen said.

“Kleenex could stand for empathy and help people fight indifference through this simple gesture of care of offering someone a tissue – a Kleenex tissue – when they need one.”

Alongside boosting sales and market share, this initiative improved Kleenex’s social engagement levels and brand perceptions, indicating its strength on numerous vital metrics.

“This ‘Someone Needs One’ idea allowed us to create saliency by assigning new meaning to a very familiar, old brand that created relevance to an audience that’s very focused on compassion and caregiving,” Rosen said.

Sourced from WARC