Campaign: Strong Housewives
Client: Procter & Gamble
Agencies: Publicis, Publicis Commetrix
Principal authors: Fiona Keyte, Publicis; Sam Dias, Publicis Commetrix
Media used: TV
This is a case of where advertising not only led to success for P&G's Bounty paper towels brand, but is also responsible for changing seemingly hard-wired consumer behaviour.
Other household-name brands, such as Andrex, had tried and failed to inject brand values into the stubbornly commoditised paper towel market.
Kimberly-Clark launched Andrex Ultra in 1993, but threw in the towel, as it were, three years later.
Despite a promising start after its launch in 1999, by mid-2001 Bounty's foray looked doomed to follow. But P&G and its agencies persevered.
Launched in October 2001, the solution was a campaign to convince consumers that paper towels are not just for mopping up spills. Because Bounty stays strong when wet, the advertising argued, they can be used for tougher chores such as scrubbing sticky surfaces.
The "strong housewives" TV campaign has led to more people using paper towels wet to tackle kitchen mess - apparently unthinkable before the campaign started. To date, it has generated additional sales of £37 million from slightly more than £10 million worth of TV advertising: an estimated ROI of 10 per cent.
Not only has the advertising paid back in the short term but, assuming this behavioural shift is permanent, longer- term sales growth is likely to follow.
The judges' view
This solid case describes how Bounty not only grew the paper towel market by changing people's behaviour within it, but also succeeded in establishing a brand in what had been a commodity market. The Bounty campaign delivered an incremental £11.1 million profit. A couple of judges were so impressed by this case that they bought some to try at home.