The program let people send samples to friends and family via
Kleenex.com and through signups at more than 900 participating
retailers in the U.S. and Canada. They could also send virtual
Kleenex tissues to Facebook friends, but the million were all
actual tissue packs, said Amy Popp, Kleenex brand manager.
"We set out to retake softness superiority in the category," Mr.
Smith said. "So we developed a program behind the claim that
Kleenex is America's softest tissue. ... We essentially enabled 1
million consumers to become ambassadors for the brand."
People can track online how
their samples inspire others to follow suit or how many samples
have been sent or received by state or ZIP code. So far, 1.5
million people have done so, Ms. Popp said, and the longest "chain
of sharing" so far has involved 34 cycles.
A mere 655 packs have been sent so far by folks in Neenah, Wis.,
where Kleenex marketers are based. That compares to 3,0260 from
downtown Cincinnati, headquarters of rival Procter & Gamble
Co., marketer of Puffs.
Kleenex promoted the social sampling via TV, print, digital and
social media advertising from WPP's JWT andmedia shop Mindshare, both New York. TV and
digital ads appeared to produce the most activity, Ms. Popp
While California jumped out to an early lead, Ontario has since
edged all U.S. states in tissue sharing so far with 73,740 packages
And it's been a good cold and flu season for sending tissues.
While the H1N1 virus last year created a surge in business for
Kleenex and some difficult comparisons early on, since around Nov.
15, cold and flu season in the U.S. has been tracking ahead of last
year, Mr. Smith said.