Cottonelle Ultra toilet tissue was ranked No. 3 out of the three ultra soft variants available in the super-premium category. The category leader was Charmin, but in 2009, Quilted Northern Ultra Plush and Cottonelle Ultra battled for the number 2 spot. With the threat of retailer consolidation, where only the top two variants would survive on shelf, Cottonelle needed to overtake the No. 2 spot by compelling Quilted Northern buyers to switch to Cottonelle.
Through research, the brand team identified a group of women and men who are more invested in their toileting routine than the average person. Armed with this information, Cottonelle needed to jolt consumers out of their routine shopping behavior by creating relevant conversation. This real, authentic conversation would drive engagement and spark interest in a brand (and category) that doesn’t tend to get a second thought. The first step was getting consumers to realize their bath tissue “relationship” was a little stale.
From January through April 2011, the agency introduced the idea that one small switch can make the difference when it comes to a stale relationship––in your personal life or in the bathroom. From surprising your loved one with flowers, to a spontaneous night on the town, to switching to Cottonelle Ultra toilet paper, each small change is an easy way to keep things fresh.
Television and print were used in U.S. and French Canadian markets. A media tour, including satellite and radio, was planned around Valentine’s Day in New York with spokesperson Patti Stanger from “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” The tour was capped off with a blogger’s press conference providing VIP access to Stanger.
A 90-day promotional sweepstakes offered a variety of prizes, including a year’s supply of Cottonelle Ultra. In-pack codes directed consumers online to www.cottonelleultraswitch.com, to enter the daily prize pool. Additional content, such as conversational videos called “Bathroom Banter,” was designed to keep them at the site longer. Bloggers and fans who shared the stories with their social networks were given unique entry codes.
The campaign rolled over the competition generating double-digit percentage increases in sales vs. the previous year, as well as a high-single-digit growth in market share, with a significant amount from new customers. It was a team effort; Biggs-Gilmore, Ketchum, Ogilvy Action and Mindshare.