A Huggies Campaign Is Born

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Kimberly-Clark Corp. next month breaks a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign across channels targeting mothers of newborns and infants to encourage trial of the new Huggies Supreme Gentle Care and Natural Fit diapers.

The media plan includes print, television, online advertising, coupon-driven direct mail and freestanding inserts, in-store merchandising and a national promotion with Walt Disney Co. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, handles print and TV, and the rest is in-house.

"We're trying to help moms trade up to super-premium diapers," said Craig Wanous, Neenah, WI-based brand manager for diapers at K-C.

The Huggies Supreme Gentle Care diapers are available in preemie, newborn and sizes one and two. They have 20 percent more cushion and quilted softness than the Huggies Supreme diapers they replaced. A key feature in the newborn size is the U-shaped umbilical cord opening to avoid belly button friction.

By contrast, the Huggies Supreme Natural Fit diapers are sold in sizes three to six, are 10 percent thinner and have a flexible absorbent pad to make the product feel more natural on a baby 6 months and older.

Brand ads will run in magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Nick Jr. These ads will appear in special issues targeting new moms. TV ads of 15- to 30-second duration will run on iVillage's Newborn Channel in 1,840 hospital maternity rooms.

Marketing through November for both products is segmented as K-C targets 3.4 million moms representing 82 percent of the nation's births.

Online, K-C is running a Disney promo on its site at www.huggiesbabynetwork.com, which launched in May 2005. Visitors locate game pieces online or in Huggies Supreme packages. Twenty-one winning families get an expenses-paid trip for four to Disney World.

Banner ads on various sites also push the effort.

Diaper-shaped direct mail will include a brochure and samples of the product. The millions of names -- exact number not disclosed -- were sourced from K-C's own files of handraisers and customers as well as partnerships with other databases.

A $1.50-off coupon will be included in the mail pieces, one drop planned for September's end and the other in the fourth quarter. Triple-variant FSIs in Sunday newspapers nationwide also will carry the coupons to encourage redemption in stores. In-store signage will support and call attention to the new products.

"It's our biggest launch effort since the original launch of Supreme back in 1994," Mr. Wanous said.

The new Huggies Supreme Gentle Care diapers compete directly with Pampers' Swaddlers line from Procter & Gamble Co. while the Natural Fit brand competes with Pampers' Cruisers.

K-C and P&G each have 36 percent of the diapers category, which totals nearly $4 billion across all outlets including Wal-Mart and price clubs. Private-label brands hold the rest.

Qualitative focus groups and online research prompted K-C's new line of Huggies Supreme.

"It really stood out that moms feel that diapers are not as comfortable for babies as they'd like them to be," Mr. Wanous said. "Secondly, when you look at priorities, when moms are buying diapers, comfort is their No. 1 priority. And the third insight is that they realized their babies' needs in terms of comfort changed as the baby grows.

"It led [us] ... to work on more comfortable diapers, and we also realized that our solutions wouldn't work for all sizes," he said. "So that led us to a deeper understanding of the sizes. There's a distinctive change from a baby that isn't very docile -- there's an explosion of curiosity, there's more discovery."

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