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Kimberly-Clark Puts Estimated $20 Million Toward Diaper Debut

By Sep 20, 2006

Kimberly-Clark Corp. is launching a new line of super-premium diapers with an estimated $15 million to $20 million ad, promotion and direct-mail campaign that leverages its exclusive tie-in with Walt Disney Co.

The dual-branded Huggies Supreme line carries Gentle Care diapers for newborns and infants, and Natural Fit diapers for toddlers. Both roll out nationally this month, replacing K-C’s 12-year-old Huggies Supreme design.

TV and print ads broke earlier this week. A sweepstakes dangling 21 grand-prize family trips to Walt Disney World runs on-pack starting this month. Game pieces in millions of Huggies packages will award 20 of the five-day trips; one additional winner will be chosen from entries online. An on-pack burst features the silhouette of Mickey Mouse.

K-C tapped its long-standing partnership with Disney for the sweepstakes. K-C has an exclusive license to put Disney characters on its diapers, which opens the door for joint promotions.

“Our goal is always to be more than just graphics on diapers. We want to leverage Disney’s magic to coincide with the ‘fun baby, happy baby’ personality of the Huggies brand,” says Craig Wanous, K-C brand manager for diapers.

Disney uses the sweeps to court families with babies for fall travel, to boost theme-park traffic after older kids have gone back to school.

K-C handles the sweepstakes in-house, with an assist from New York-based Catalyst. Huggies touts the sweeps on three FSIs slated for fall, on P-O-P, in online ads and through direct mail targeting moms and pregnant women in their third trimester. The company targets both audiences separately, with samples suited to a baby’s age.

Huggies also has category exclusivity for advertising on the in-hospital network The Newborn Channel, which reaches 3.4 million new moms a year in maternity wards in 1,840 hospitals. The network is run by NBC Universal, iVillage and GE Healthcare, with educational programming for new parents. Huggies’ network TV spots, created by JWT, New York, will air there.

K-C spent $66 million on advertising for Huggies last year, and nearly $37 million for first-half 2006, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Category-leader Huggies has had strong sales, up 20% to $386.5 million for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 13, per Information Resources, Inc. But Huggies Supreme has fared less well, up only 4% to $148.7 million for the year, per IRI. Still, that outpaces category growth of 2.6%, to $1.78 billion.

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