Cottonelle on Crack

Coco Chanel used to say that before leaving your house, you should check yourself in a mirror and remove at least one accessory from your ensemble. That's part of the reason she became a style icon: She knew when too much was enough. Not so for Kimberly Clark/Cottonelle in their new (largest) non-traditional advertising campaign EVER...

Hat tip to Adrants, whose initial coverage led to tear jerking laughter for me and my family. Since then, in an attempt to be fair, I've done a little more research. I can't help but come away with the opinion that this is one of the most over accessorized campaigns I've ever seen!

Up front, it sounded like a clever idea for the puppy-advertising brand. As summarized the concept is something like this ...

"Life's rough on your bottom. Be kind to your behind with Cottonelle."

Not bad, right? The schtick -- Make your own pledge to be kind to your behind in exchange for a chance to win a luxury give away. We'll also give you free coupons!

Cute. Lots of advertising potential! But then they began to accessorize...

First (and the most understandable move, in my opinion), they merged the idea with their "adorable mascot" the infamous Cottonelle puppy. I understand - continuity.

The thing is, they made the mascot into a spokespuppy. Note the freakish new voice, which they're using on the new commercials and on the web site.

This is where Coco begins to twitch. At least they don't make his mouth animate when he talks! (Shudder)

Then they added more stuff: On the web site, where you can create your own pledge and enter to win... they've got totally unrelated bells and whistles that don't really boost the experience at all. In fact, some are totally disconnected from it. .

For example, you canattach a garish, nearly illegible cartoon to your pledge. It appears they are drawn on toilet paper. Many show people sitting on toilets. I wonder how much they paid for this crap? (Pun intentional) Here's an example courtesy of the website...

Incidentally, I have a friend with a sleeping disorder that had a similar incident in college. She missed her finals and it took four hours to get the sensaton back in her legs

Then there's the outdoor advertising component. Does anyone else feel this gets lost in context? They bought a wrap in the subway.... but to really make a statement, why not outfit some of those hard seats with cushions - or brand some restroom space and make them cleaner, more comfortable...and graced with Cottonelle? That's what Charmin did in Times Square. This is entirely forgettable.

Then, my favorite accessory: The mobile component. Nope. Sorry. It's not mobile as in wireless - as in the ability to find any restroom within 1000 feet of your phone, compliments of Cottonelle.... It's mobile as in motor vehicle! Meet Cottonelle's "Comfort Haven Bus."

According to Ad Rants, the bus will engage in a cross-country tour stopping at locations across the United States: "The bus will offer visitors access to "relaxation stations" where people can see first-hand -- and hopefully in privacy -- how soft and comforting Cottonelle can be."

Somehow, "Come poop in our bus" just seems a little far fetched to me (pun intended). But it it gets even worse, folks. The bus has fur!

Come poop in our PUPPY bus? Okay, now you vote: which of the following does the Comfort Haven Bus most resemble?

Lest, I digress, they're not done, they've also added an on-board fitness trainer who will give people who sit down a lot some helpful advice to “loose the caboose.”

AND... just to show you they're not done accessorizing, they retained Judith Greer from ABC's "Miss Guided" as a kickoff celebrity. Now, I like her. She's funny, but what she has to do with toilet paper escapes me.

All this to say, this whole campaign is just, well -- OVER ACCESSORIZED. Sometimes, we just need to know when enough is enough. Otherwise, we find ourselves on - or over - the edge of ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS! Seriously too much!

Anonymous said...

Dogs and toliet paper - hum, I don't get!

Post a Comment




TwitterLinkedInYouTubePosterousFacebook G+

Live Path Experience Architect Feed


I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.


The Customer Experience Edge


Age of Conversation 3 - Get yours now in hardcover, paperback and for the Kindle.


Web Redesign: Workflow that Works