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Kleenex gets down and dirty with new agency

By Published on .

Kleenex wants to move beyond runny noses to hands and faces, so it's launching Wet Wipes backed by Barcelona's Top Line Marketing and The Cyranos.

Any new shops working for Kimberly-Clark Corp. brands at this point are of interest as the company reviews its global creative account. Heading to Spain for a brand heavily steeped in Americana is an unexpected twist.

Top Line Marketing, an independent Barcelona consultancy, brought in The Cyranos, a unit of Interpublic's McCann, for the project. The tandem previously has worked on Coca-Cola Co. brands. Also working on the Kleenex Wet Wipes rollout are WPP's Geometry Global and Mindshare on shopper and paid media; Publicis Groupe's Digitas and Prodigious / DPP on digital creative; and Omnicom's Ketchum on PR.

What won Kleenex over to the Top Line/Cyranos duo was the "Made for Doers" idea. "Instantly we saw the connection, and the voice and attitude coming through with people who love to get their hands dirty and see that as a point of pride," says Kleenex Senior Brand Manager Rusty Zaspel.

While the world already has disposable wipes for just about every use, those specifically used for hands and faces are only used by about 10 percent of households, well below the 20 percent to 30 percent common for other types of wipes. Zaspel says.

People often are put off by the idea of using other types of wipes for hands and faces because of harsh chemicals or fragrances, Zaspel says, so Kleenex Wet Wipes have light scent or no scent. Packaging of wipes for other uses often lets them dry out when carried around in cars or glove compartments, he says. People also have trouble finding hand and face wipes in stores, something Kleenex hopes to remedy by having its wipes stocked near its tissues.

"For a small amount of people, this will be a replacement" for wipes they're currently using, he says. "But this market is a white-space opportunity that takes the place of either going without or maybe using a Stabucks napkin to wipe your face if you're eating in the car."

Freshening up after workouts or plane trips or otherwise cleaning up small messes on the go are other uses he sees.

The most memorable Kleenex ads of recent years, the "Somebody Needs One" campaign featuring often tear-jerking spots where somebody pulls out facial tissues for someone in need, came primarily from VSA Partners with some help from Facebook's in-house agency.

That campaign is on hiatus for now, but Zaspel says part of the mission given to the Barcelona duo behind the new advertising to pay homage to the Americana heritage and other "Kleenex reference points."

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