Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
July 18, 2013 4:08 PM

Great Advertising (From An Unexpected Brand)

Have you seen this ad?

When was the last time you paid attention to a commercial about toilet paper? Or even cared to?

Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle brand (not a client) has come out with dispenser packaging for its Fresh Care Flushable Dry Wipes product. Yes, a moist and flushable toilet paper. Innovative product? Maybe. Stunning Cannes-worthy advertising? Nope. But it's short. It's to the point. It catches your attention. It makes you smile. But, more importantly, it makes you ask yourself a bigger question: why do we wipe the way that we do and doesn't this make much more sense?

The butt of the joke.

In marketing, we tend to focus too much on the humor or shock tactics to drive attention. This simple (and effective) ad works on many levels: it clearly explains the product in a way that makes us smile and relate to it. It provokes us to think about our current habits. It creates a strong case for a consumer trial the next time we're wandering down the toilet paper aisle. It doesn't need to be flashy. It needs to be informative.

Too much time.

If I'm going to be honest, even blogging about this ad kills my point, because I'm giving this too much attention and time. Great advertising acts as an engine to transmit brand information. In a world of Facebook and Twitter many will argue that you need hashtags, content marketing  and a bunch of followers to get people buzzing about this product. For my dollar, this makes much more sense: tell people about it, get them to smile, get them to recognize a new behavior, and get them to consider a trial.

That reminds me.

One of my current business partners used to have a sign on his wall. It read: "Be brilliant. Be brief. Be gone." It's a lesson that advertisers, presenters, brands and more could learn from. Regardless of the product, production, casting or originality of the idea, by my estimates, Cottonelle nailed this execution. It's also a reminder that not everything has to be jaw dropping... it just has to make the strategy and insight come to life in a way that captures the consumer's very valuable attention.

Great advertising doesn't always look like the way we typically define great advertising.

By Mitch Joel