“Break the Cycle” 2011 Silver Effie Winner Strategic Challenge

2011 Silver Effie Winner
“Break the Cycle”
Category: Influencers
Brand/Client: U by Kotex* / Kimberly-Clark
Primary Agency: Organic, Inc.
Contributing Agency: JWT, New York
Strategic Challenge
Kimberly-Clark (K-C) is leading the world in essentials for a better life. With well-known family
care and personal care brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Andrex, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex, Poise and
Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the Number 1 or Number 2 share position globally in more than 80
countries.
For years, feminine care companies have disseminated shame-based, condescending campaigns
that don‘t show the aches and pains of menstruation in their actual form. Menstruation, a healthy,
perfectly normal body function women have been experiencing for millennia, has been cast as the
villain for far too long. Shame-based product marketing tactics have only promulgated negative
connotations towards their own bodies.
K-C‘s U by Kotex* launch delivered on the promise of bringing the marketing of feminine care
products into the 21st century. It sought to break down taboos, provide education and incite real
conversations on vaginal health care using the authentic voice of its target demographic. The U by
Kotex* team singlehandedly replaced a half-century‘s worth of marketing miscues, outdated
beliefs and campaigns built on euphemism—with new products brought to market through genuine
campaigns built on directness and honesty.
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Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242
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2011: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual
property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to
reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of
the Effie Awards.
Objectives
The goal of the U by Kotex* launch was to rip down societal mores for the greater good and shine
a light on a category that was outdated and ashamed to have real conversations about feminine
health. K-C looked to disseminate valuable feminine health information to an audience that is often
too ashamed to discuss these sensitive – yet important – topics and replace the misguided
marketing methods and messages aimed at teen girls and young women - the very ones it had
created 60 years ago.
K-C believes teenage girls and women should be proud of their bodies and not be afraid to have
open, honest conversations about periods and vaginal care or seek answers to their questions. U
by Kotex* is empowering teen girls and young women to do just that by executing on the following
objectives:
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
Objective #1: Encourage trial through sampling with the following metrics:
o 800,000 sample requests; 40% sample conversions
Objective #2: Change the conversation in the mission of better vaginal care.
Objective #3: Gain credibly reach through advocates:
o 150,000 Declaration Signatures
The Big Idea
Shine a light on the dysfunction of feminine care advertising and social taboos with humor and
honesty that encourages people to think, talk and act differently.
To begin this cultural shift, K-C recognized that in order to replace existing marketing methods, it
first had to better understand the target audience. As a result, the team set out to understand
teens‘ and young women‘s feelings about feminine healthcare and the associated product. To
achieve this, it conducted research that presented some astonishing results:


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70% of women believe that it‘s about time society changes how it talks about vaginal
health issues; however, less than half (45%) feel empowered to make a difference
Most women claim to be knowledgeable about vaginal health issues, however, more than a
third cannot dispel some basic myths
More than half of women (52%) feel that society looks down upon talking about vaginal
health
Research also found that the vast majority of women were embarrassed by their bodies and, more
specifically, menstruation. This presented an opportunity for K-C to become a champion for women
and a torch-bearer for a momentous cultural shift - it was time to remove the shame from being a
woman.
Bringing the Idea to Life
The U by Kotex* product launch was supported by an integrated marketing program. The
campaign included a product integration on the Tyra Banks Show, a cause-related campaign
entitled Declaration of Real Talk that supports Girls for a Change, a community-driven website,
Effie® Awards
116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242
th
2011: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual
property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to
reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of
the Effie Awards.
extensive social media efforts, targeted print, TV and online advertising, direct-to-consumer
online communications, extensive consumer sampling and retail in-store support.
Because the flexibility and effectiveness of the digital channel is unrivaled in reaching this
audience, the team placed a significant focus on the website as an educational tool and the power
of social media to engage the target audience. This channel also allowed the team to get around
issues presented by the more traditional mediums such as national TV networks, which wouldn‘t
allow K-C to say the word ―vagina‖ or ―down there‖ in broadcast advertisements, a fact that once
again showcased the difficulty in shattering taboos in a heavily-regulated channel.
Social media is a proven channel for reaching teen girls and young women, so K-C leveraged these
highly interactive platforms to launch a first-of-its-kind campaign to drive education and advocacy
on feminine care issues. The digital channels leverage an integrated approach across three primary
platforms: the branded website, primary social platforms (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) and
across the larger social web. It hired a community manager specifically to act as a liaison to teen
girls and young women seeking information on feminine health care issues and driving them to
change the conversation with their peers by finding trusted information on the U by Kotex* site.
Feedback from teen girls and young women also lead to the creation of the ‗Real Answers‘ panel.
The brand found its target demographic relied on their friends (30%) and mothers (40%) far less
than the Internet (60%) when they had questions on vaginal care. While convenient, Internet
searches don‘t always offer factual answers, so K-C created an online forum where women can
learn more and get real answers to the questions in a stress-free environment. ‗Real Answers‘
establishes the company as a trusted resource for vaginal health information, provides multiple
perspectives on relevant topics within the context of a conversation that is authentic, open and
honest. These are the three characteristics teen girls and young women seek from their brand
interactions which bolster K-C‘s reputation as a consumer evangelist.
The U by Kotex* campaign isn‘t solely comprised of ―Push‖ tactics either. The community manager
oversees social media conversations on feminine health and injects valuable insights whenever
appropriate. For instance, if a young woman posts a relevant question on Yahoo! Answers, the K-C
community manager will answer the question and leave a direct call to action to visit the U by
Kotex* site.
Innovative elements of the U by Kotex* website include:

Get Real – This section shines the light on what is currently wrong in the feminine care
category and motivates visitors to discuss these important issues. It also provides viewers
with the ability to watch, share, create and upload video stories. Humorous viral videos are
hosted on the site and can be easily shared on social media platforms

Real Answers – As mentioned above, this section provides answers to real questions from
teen girls and young women on feminine hygiene. The answers come from three
perspectives – a mother, a doctor and a peer– and are available both on the site and
throughout other digital channels that the target audience frequents

Products – The innovative new line of U by Kotex* products are highlighted in a highly
interactive way -- from immersive 360 photography to authentic feeling product
demonstrations shot from the first person perspective
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Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242
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2011: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual
property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to
reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of
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
The Mission – Challenges girls to get involved and join the cause. Users are given the
opportunity to sign the declaration and take back the word ―vagina,‖ as well as meeting
other people making a difference
K-C also built a PR program for U by Kotex* focused on building a strong foundation for the brand
as a change agent, quickly engaging the target and garnering widespread media interest to
facilitate consumer brand engagement.
Aggressive PR efforts drove two major waves of widespread media coverage for the Declaration of
Real Talk Campaign resulting in increased brand awareness and depth of messaging. This included
a top-tier exclusive with The New York Times and a long format integration on ―The Tyra Banks
Show.‖ The coverage communicated U by Kotex‘s fresh approach, standout products and bold
mission. In addition, the coverage focused on the brand‘s alignment with Girls For A Change
(GFC), a national non-profit organization that empowers girls to create social change, and invited
women to join U by Kotex* in creating social change by signing the Declaration of Real Talk
online. For every woman who signed on, $1 was donated to GFC to support educational training to
help young women ―change the world.‖ The brand also aligned with Khloé Kardashian Odom to
generate mass awareness for the brand and its mission when product hit shelves. At a live media
moment staged in New York City, Khloé signed the declaration and encouraged other women to
join the cause to benefit GFC.
Kotex invented the tampon and determined that now is the time to reinvent tampon protocol by
making it easier, cooler and more natural to get and share information. The company set out to
put an end to the traditional metal box and created a whole new design which features LCD touch
screens offering a full range of U by Kotex* products. The innovative dispenser understands the
woman‘s cycle and recommends the best product. Users can purchase products via credits and/or
the swipe of a debit card, making it extremely efficient and hassle-free. The screen prompts users
to ―pay it forward‖ by leaving a credit for someone in need.
Effie® Awards
116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242
th
2011: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual
property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to
reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of
the Effie Awards.
Communications Touch Points
TV
Packaging
Retail Experience
Spots
Product Design
POP
Branded Content
Cinema
Video
Sponsorship
Interactive
In-Store Merchandizing
Product placement
Online Ads
Radio
Web site
Sales Promotion
Retailtainment
Spots
Viral video
Merchandising
Video skins/bugs
Street Teams
Program/content
Social Networking Sites
Tagging
Podcasts
Wraps
Trade/Professional
Gaming
Buzz Marketing
Newspaper - print
Mobile Phone
Ambient Media
Newspaper - digital
Other
Print
Magazine - print
OOH
Guerrilla
Sampling/Trial
Consumer Involvement
Magazine – digital
Airport
WOM
Print partnership
Transit
Consumer Generated
Direct
Billboard
Mail
Place Based
Email
Viral
Other
Other
PR
Trade Shows
Events
Sponsorship
Additional Marketing Components:
Couponing & Other; Online product sampling Mobile site extension
Reach:
National.
Total Media Expenditure:
$10-20 million.
Results
The campaign has been a remarkable success story – earning the brand six and a half times more
conversations online than the next closest competitor, with over 99% of the feedback positive or
neutral. Girls recognized the issue and joined in the conversation – creating video responses,
posting comments, sharing, blogging and retweeting about the advertising; earning the work
almost 2M additional views online to date.
Even in traditional mediums like print, the team took a non-traditional approach. It spoke in the
language of the target audience in a way that was relevant, with one execution announcing: ―I tied
a tampon to my key ring so my brother wouldn‘t take my car. It worked.‖ The approach worked
and U by Kotex* took the lead in reinventing how girls relate and interact with feminine hygiene
brands.
Effie® Awards
116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242
th
2011: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual
property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to
reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of
the Effie Awards.
Teenage girls and young women are considering U by Kotex* an authority on where to turn for
information and since launching in March 2010, the campaign has realized the following results:
Objective #1: Encourage trial through sampling with the following metrics:
o 800,000 sample requests; 40% sample conversions
Results that support the above objective:
 The website has experienced over 2.3 million visits with more than 1.2 million
sample requests (source: Webtrends, Google Analytics and Start Sampling)
 The sample conversion rate remains steady at 40% (source: Webtrends, Google
Analytics and Start Sampling)
Objective #2: Change the conversation in the mission of better vaginal care.
Results that support the above objective:
 There have been over 25,500 tweets about Kotex* (source: Maestro/Twitter)
 Over 86,500 Kotex* discussions have taken place in the social space with over 100
million impressions through various channels (source: TNS Cymfony)
Objective #3: Gain credibly reach through advocates:
o 150,000 Declaration Signatures
Results that support the above Objective:
 According to a Nielsen Q2 2010 report, the Kotex brand is up 3.6 points versus the
previous quarter and one year ago
 Over 1 million girls have been activated on the brand site (Source: tracking on the
UbyK website in the mission tool bar), including 7,704 Declaration signatures and
76,641 likes to the Mission, including 13,415 likes on Facebook (Source: Facebook)
 Feminine care sales volumes grew at a double-digit rate for the third consecutive
quarter as a result of the U by Kotex* line extension (Source: Kimberly-Clark Third
Quarter 2010 Results)
Anything else going on that might have helped drive results?
K-C heard women‘s perspectives on feminine health care and created a campaign that changed the
conversations around the topic. Rather than a placing a few clever ads that poke fun at the
market‘s shortcomings and try to sell a few boxes of U by Kotex*, the company sought to provide
teen girls and young women with education resources that were not available before the campaign
was launched such as video tutorials of how to use the product.
These efforts ignited an instantaneous dialogue among consumers, bloggers and traditional media
who praised Kimberly-Clark and built affinity and advocacy for the brand. The campaign succeeded
in building advocacy with hundreds of women sharing their personal experiences and thanking U
by Kotex* for igniting a long overdue conversation about vaginal health.
Effie® Awards
116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242
th
2011: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual
property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to
reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of
the Effie Awards.
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