KIMBERLY-CLARK, COLGATE REPORT ONLINE AD SUCCESS

Six-Week Campaigns Increased Target Audience Purchase Intent

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Colgate-Palmolive Cos. both report that adding online components to the mix for two test
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advertising campaigns substantially increased brand awareness for their products.

The results of the efforts were released as part of a cross-media optimization study program sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Marketing Evolution, a research consultancy. The studies are co-funded by the marketers and IAB member publishers.

The IAB represents publishing companies seeking to increase the amount of money spent by marketers on Internet-based advertising.

Tissues and toothpaste
The latest studies involved campaigns for Kimberly-Clark's Kleenex SoftPack and Colgate-Palmolive's Colgate Total Toothpaste brands involving magazine, TV and Internet advertising.

The studies suggest that online spending should be about 10% to 15% of the overall media mix in low-involvement categories such as package goods and that the best interactive marketing is an emotion-packed complement to offline media, defined here as TV and magazines. The research also suggests that rejiggering online and offline media levels may offer a better return on investment.

Shifting even 5% of the media budget can open a competitive edge, said Rex Briggs, principal of Marketing Evolution. "If a traditional marketer does optimize its [media] mix and a competitor doesn't, they'll get between 5% and 15% better results without spending a dollar more," he said.

Study goals
In launching its Kleenex SoftPack line extension, Kimberly-Clark wanted to know how online media within the mix could build brand awareness and drive trial. "We were actually impacting and reaching light TV viewers and non-TV viewers," said Brad Santeler, associate director of interactive services for Kimberly-Clark. TV ads only reach about 42% of Kleenex's target audience. The brand was spending 75% of its budget on TV, 23% on print and just 2% online.

By boosting its online spending, Kimberly hoped to supplement the light reach of TV and complement magazine advertising. The combination of print and online advertising helped raise brand awareness among its target audience for SoftPack from 34.7% to 42.7%; brand image by from 35% to 41.8%; purchase intent from 24.2% to 34.0%; and bundled trial intent from 43.9% to 55.7%, according to the company.

"It was surprising how impactful the lift on some of the brand metrics were," Mr. Santeler said.

18- to 49-year-olds
Colgate's findings revealed that online was the most cost-efficient means of reaching 18- to 49-year-olds for Colgate Total toothpaste. Colgate wanted to increase purchase preference among occasional and non-Total users, but it was only putting 7% of its budget toward online, while 78% went to TV and 15% was earmarked for magazines. The findings showed that TV ought to have been 75% of the mix, magazines 14% and online 11%. TV, while effective, doesn't hit about 40% of the target audience -- light TV watchers or non-TV watchers. Upping online media allocation for the campaign helped Colgate gain incremental reach it wouldn't have otherwise had, according to the company.

"What's significant for Colgate is they were able to generate purchase preference more cost efficiently with online [media] ... on a dollar-for-dollar basis, compared to the other media used," Mr. Briggs said. "If it costs you $1 per new person you make want to buy your products with online advertising, a $1.23 for TV, and $1.84 for magazines, it's something you have to look at."

Six-week campaigns
The research, conducted over two six-week campaign periods last year, employed a methodology endorsed by the IAB, the Advertising Research Foundation and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN.

While Kimberly-Clark has aggressively pursued online advertising, "the beauty of this study, to me, is that once and for all it says that online advertising deserves a seat at the table and to be considered like radio, print and TV," Kimberly-Clark's Mr. Santeler said.

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