The Brawny man is losing face but gaining considerable stature in a major makeover of the iconic brand that broke on national TV Monday.
The icon has a rich history, but his place in culture may be bigger than his place on the paper towel shelf after years of getting pushed around by Bounty and others. So now the brand, backed by Cutwater, San Francisco, is making him larger than life in a humorous new campaign with the tagline "Stay Giant!"
The campaign returns the Brawny Man to the dimensions he had in the brand's original launch advertising in the 1970s. In those days, he appeared on TV as a faceless giant lending a hand and rolls of paper towels to women in distress.
In these ads, he does the same, but with some modern, humorous twists -- giving voice to the escape routes that run through a man's mind when he spills chilli on the floor, or, in another spot, a busy woman's doubts about having a dog that surface as she returns from work to find the pup has trashed the apartment.
On packages, he always had a face, appearing as a mustachioed lumberjack type in a red flannel shirt through the 1970s and '80s. That look, ultimately, prompted jokes about the Brawny Man looking like a '70s porn star. His last makeover, in 2003, resulted in a kinder, gentler, clean-shaven and more ethnically ambiguous brunette, still clad in plaid. As part of that iteration, from Cincinnati design firm Deskey (the same firm behind Procter & Gamble Co.'s iconic Tide logo), the Brawny Man had his own online reality seriesin which he taught the finer arts of manliness. That drew attention from Politico for an uncanny resemblance to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
The new Brawny Man design from Turner Duckworth, San Francisco, is nearly faceless on package, though he sports some 21st century-style stubble along with the plaid shirt and giant pecs.
To read more about the campaign head over to AdAge.com.