See the Spot: 'I Have SAM in My Pants'

Poise Uses Double Entendres to Lure Younger Women to Light Bladder Leakage Product

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Poise is pushing double-entendre boundaries to get younger women to try its new product – relying on a young mom joyfully announcing: "I have SAM in my pants."

In a TV spot from Ogilvy & Mather, New York, one mom seemingly overshares with another at a school function about "SAM," who sounds like a guy, but is really an acronym for super-absorbent material. SAM, the mom confides, is "really small" but "can last for hours."

Poise Microliners
Poise Microliners

With a look of smug satisfaction, she delves further into TMI territory by revealing she's really talking about Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s new Poise Microliners.

Response to the commercial, which began airing earlier this month, has been overwhelmingly positive and led to a ninefold increase in requests for samples, said Tracy Buelow, senior brand manager for Poise. YouTube likes are beating dislikes 19-6 so far on a modest 4,000 views.

The goal of the campaign is to position the adult-incontinence products, often seen as only for older women, as also being for younger women with what Poise has dubbed "light bladder leakage."

Unlike age-related adult incontinence, LBL often affects younger women, sometimes after the birth of their first children or when they laugh or cough. Frequently younger women use feminine pads or liners to address the problem, which is bad news for Poise, especially since rival Procter & Gamble Co.'s Always is the prohibitive leader in those markets.

Since Poise began humorously portraying how common LBL is for women of all ages four years ago, starting with an online video campaign starring Whoopi Goldberg and later adding Kirstie Alley as the Poise Fairy, it's seen steady increases in sales and share.

The brand helped Kimberly-Clark to a 0.4-point share gain and 6.7% sales lift in the $1.4 billion adult-incontinence category for the 52 weeks ended April 12, according to Nielsen data from Deutsche Bank. K-C also sells Depend undergarments and has a 56% overall share of the category. Only about 3% of the annual sales increase in adult incontinence owes to an aging population, with the rest from marketing to get more people to use the products, Ms. Buelow said.

Paper-product marketers traditionally kept talk of esoteric details like super-absorbent polymer among themselves up to now, but Ms. Buelow said K-C has found a way to make it accessible to consumers.

"We have a history of talking to women about light bladder leakage in a lighthearted way," Ms. Buelow said. "We know one in three women experience the condition, but most of them don't feel comfortable talking about it. When we take this lighthearted approach, we normalize that condition and make them feel comfortable. And we also expect to spark a discussion."

Also working on the campaign, which includes print, digital, social, sampling and in-store elements, are the Chicago offices of O&M's WPP siblings Mindshare and Geometry for media and shopper marketing; Omnicom's Organic for digital; and independents Marina Maher Communications and McGrath Business Communications, both New York, for PR.

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