Social media have become an integral part of many media plans. This is especially true for FMCGs, which are greatly pushing social media activities despite the fact that the share of online spending lags far behind TV in the advertising media mix. At the end of 2010, P&G – one of the pioneers when it comes to Social Commerce – launched a Pampers Facebook Shop in the US. More than 30 other brands are sold through this shop, too. Coca Cola is the most popular brand on Facebook with 23 million fans, followed by Oreo and Skittles. In Germany, FMCG brand Ferrero counts the most Facebook fans for its Kinder Riegel site. Many will still remember the amazing gains in reach for the Old Spice or TippEx campaigns on YouTube, or the thrilling idea of Unilever’s ‘Digital Advertising R&D Budgets’. These are only a few randomly picked examples. We can assume that the list of less successful examples in the FMCG sector is equally long.
World’s leading brand for cosmetic tissues and handkerchiefs, Kleenex, has now launched a widely discussed campaign with great reach. Just in time for the flu season, Kleenex launched its campaign ‘Softness worth sharing’ in the US. The idea is, that people can send free Kleenex samples to those who have fallen ill via the 900 retailers who take part in this campaign. The campaign’s aim was to introduce an even softer tissue. The campaign was advertised via TV, print, display ads and social media.
Social Sampling Campaign virtually extended via Facebook: Over 1 million brand ambassadors
Results of the social sampling campaign
The campaign was a huge success. Based on information provided by the company, 1 million packs have been sent within a period of five months. According to Adage, Kleenex has achieved an increase of 1.7% in market share since the start of the campaign. Craig Smith, Brand Director, told Adage: “We set out to retake softness superiority in the category. So we developed a program behind the claim that Kleenex is America’s softest tissue. … We essentially enabled 1 million consumers to become ambassadors for the brand.”
Since Kleenex attributes the biggest potential for brand development in the social web to Facebook, the campaign was extended under the slogan ‘Virtual Softness’, where Facebook users can send virtual Kleenex tissues to one another. Plainly looking at the current number of fans of the site the result is somewhat surprising: Only 21,000 fans! With 1 million brand ambassadors, but a mere 21,000 fans on Facebook, the sustainability of this campaign can be questioned. Without doubt, the creators gave away a lot of potential due to a lack of further communication and practically no interaction in the digital realm.
When we look at the UK, we can find a similar situation. A social media campaign was launched via Twitter in 2009, where those affected by hay fever were encouraged to submit their location and level of suffering, thereby generating a hay fever map. The campaign managed to generate a lot of media coverage and buzz. Currently there are 371 followers for KleenexHayfever. Kleenex’ UK Facebook page counts almost 12,000 Fans.
Conclusion: As the market leader, Kleenex is certainly top-of-mind for many consumers. However, this has not been translated into digital success yet. (Remark: Tempo, the market leader in Germany, has no presence on Facebook whatsoever).