Kleenex gets emotional with 'Let it Out' nationwide push

It is probably safe to say that American society has come a long way since the days of repressed emotions.

It is probably safe to say that American society has come a long way since the days of repressed emotions.

And it has not gone unnoticed by the ubiquitous tissue brand Kleenex. The company believed that by tying the public's emotional health to its brand, it could promote a stronger bond with their customers.

Idea: Matt Crum, director of North Atlantic brand development for Kleenex, said the company began to notice the trend in expressiveness and decided to put science to work. Kleenex hired Yankelovich to conduct research on people's perception of "emotional health" and discovered they felt good when they let all those emotions out. Later this month, Kleenex will begin a nationwide tour to at least eight cities with the couch and "good listener" currently featured on their TV ads, encouraging people to "let it out." "We have focused on the mess that happens because of expressiveness, but [now] we wanted to focus on how letting it out makes you feel better," said Dave Brotherton, associate brand manager, Kleenex.

Tools: Each event will occupy a large public space - starting with Times Square in New York - where passersby will see a giant Kleenex box emblazoned with thought-provoking questions such as "What have you been holding back?" People will be free to write thoughts on the giant box. Brotherton said other "brand ambassadors" will hand out "stimulus cards" with thought-provoking questions printed on them. The card will direct consumers to an 800 number, where they can tell the company about their "Let it Out" experience, and to the Web site www.letitout.com.

Measurement: Crum said Kleenex will look at a range of things for measurement, including Web site hits, calls to the 800 number, and national and local media exposure during the tour.

Organization:  Kleenex
Campaign:  "Let it Out" national tour
PR team:  In-house and Ketchum
Other marketing:  TV advertising (JWT)
Launch:  March 22
Budget:  Undisclosed

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