CAMPAIGNS: Novel push raises buzz surrounding Huggies' diapers

PR Team: CKPR (Milwaukee) and Kimberly-Clark (Dallas) Campaign: Huggies Convertibles Time Frame: March-Sept. 2003 Budget: $150,000

PR Team: CKPR (Milwaukee) and Kimberly-Clark (Dallas) Campaign: Huggies Convertibles Time Frame: March-Sept. 2003 Budget: $150,000

This past summer, Huggies introduced a new development in diaper technology - diapers that have a dual application with pre-fastened side seams and tabs, allowing them to be pulled up like pants or put on like a normal diaper. Only available in one size, the diaper pants were made for babies 12 to 36 months old. Huggies sought to get its message across about the improved diaper, and although the brand hadn't used PR since 2000, it realized this task was going to take a highly integrated marketing scheme. Kimberly-Clark, home of the Huggies brand, hired CKPR last March to spearhead the effort. CKPR worked with the company on the corporate side before, but never with Huggies specifically. Strategy The campaign was to "let consumers know about a new wave of diapering, aimed at active toddlers," says Natalie Mitchell, account executive at CKPR. That was a message easy to identify with if one has toddlers, because how many parents would consider their tot inactive? Presenting an original category of diaper pants, PR efforts would focus on how the diapers make baby care more convenient, alleviating the headaches of overwhelmed parents with children always on the go. To reach this end, a broad media strategy integrated with advertising was instrumental, says Kurt Simon, associate marketing director of infant care at Kimberly-Clark. Tactics With this focus in mind, CKPR customized a media list targeted at parenting and women's interest magazines, sending out mailings, which included a child's push car containing a hood full of samples and product information. "The push-car mailer really helped to pique interest," says Mitchell. Simon agrees, saying the mailer was the "most impacting" portion of the campaign. The idea was correlated to the diaper's advertising convertible-car theme; almost 75 push-car mailers were received by select media, while other outlets were presented with a media kit that included an instructive CD-ROM. Additional targets went beyond the more obvious media choices to include newspapers that wouldn't usually cover Kimberly-Clark products. Simon says, "Going outside of the traditional media helped our existing media relationships." In addition, Kimberly-Clark shared its media schedule with CKPR in order to be complementary to certain coverage. An interesting sidebar to the campaign was the development of an online survey, asking parents about the characteristics of their babies. Although the survey was non-scientific and not entirely related to Huggies Convertibles, it drew more than 720,000 responses with its fun, jovial approach to determining the future personalities of babies, creating an overall awareness of the new product, says Mitchell. In addition, CKPR worked on producing a VNR, released via satellite to stations across the country. All of these targeted methods led to a degree of success Kimberly-Clark wasn't anticipating. Results To measure success, Simon says he looks at how a product does in the market. "We're ahead of where we thought we'd be," he notes. Launching in August, sales goals for the year were met by mid-November. Moreover, volume is projected to meet its expectations. Kimberly-Clark would not provide exact figures, citing company policy. Nearly 41 million media impressions were generated, with 90 placements in a mélange of media, including national magazines such as Parenting, Baby Talk, and Pregnancy. Local coverage included 45 print articles and 19 placements on TV. "We are very happy with the results of the campaign," says Simon. Future Huggies traditionally doesn't use PR, but Simon acknowledges, "PR will be considered as part of the marketing mix moving forward."

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