After 30 years of sitting on top of Brawny paper towels, the silver haired muscleman was replaced with a dark-haired younger character who might even be labeled a "metrosexual." The design change coincides with the company's half billion-dollar investment in technology that makes the product softer and stronger.
The $20 million outreach-which is being executed by creative shop Publicis Groupe's Fallon, New York; media agency Zenith Optimedia Group and independent PR and promotion firms Edelman and DVC-involves sampling, TV, print, radio and online work in addition to public relations.
According to Georgia-Pacific's Gino Biondi, director-marketing for towels, the inspiration for the campaign came from a Cosmopolitan magazine ad executive, Kelly Peterson, who saw the company's TV ads and suggested the makeover idea. "Cosmo called us over the summer, so it was a real role reversal," Mr. Biondi said.
Over the last couple of weeks, the company enlisted the help of E! star Melissa Rivers to conduct a satellite media tour to promote a competition that gets women to make over their partners. The promotion, which was covered by CNN, has already attracted 1,600 entries.
As the PR campaign rolls out, so do the sampling and the TV work. The company has criss-crossed the country handing out half a million bags hooked onto front doors, complete with samples. Georgia Pacific also gave out samples at 1,800 Wal-Mart Super Centers last week.
A print campaign is running in Hearst Magazines women's titles, including Cosmo, this month.
The second phase of a TV campaign that launched in January broke over the weekend during the Daytona 500. One of the spots features a voice-over by actors Burt Reynolds (as the old Brawny guy) and William Baldwin (as the new Brawny guy).