Never have the functional and emotional discriminators of a product been more at odds than in Kleenex’s new Softness Worth Sharing campaign.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the manufacturer of Kleenex, introduced the disposable tissue in 1924 to help women remove makeup. Two years later, some focus testing made it clear that 60% of the participants used Kleenex tissue for blowing their noses. Excellent.
That’s History 101. Now on to Marketing 2011.
The new campaign encourages Joe and Jill Public to send a box of tissues for free to anyone in North America to show they care. Or, if they still care but are too lazy to get the box thing together, they can send a virtual tissue to someone’s inbox.
Naturally, this transpires on their Facebook page, where your loved ones hang out and we immediately know who’s feeling bunged up.
Ah but it’s more than a tissue you cold-hearted simpleton, you are thinking. It’s there to dry tears and provide comfort when you’re home alone with a cold.
That’s what Kimberly-Clark wants us to think. And I am not buying it.
As I understand it though, 860,000+ people have already sent boxes to their loved ones. In fact, maybe somewhere right at this moment, a teary-eyed mother is opening her door to a kindly post office employee with a free box of Kleenex tissues from her loving son. Or, if his love is less expansive, opening her inbox to a virtual tissue.
As I remove my finger from my throat, I can’t help but think no matter how hopefully Kimberly-Clark thinks their tissues are going to make the world a more loving place, they are really best for wet fingers and running noses.
Have been since 1924.