Georgia-Pacific Uses Mail for Brawny Napkin Push

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Georgia-Pacific Corp. begins the next phase of direct mail drops in May to promote its new Brawny Soft & Strong napkin brand.


The Atlanta maker of tissue products will send flat mail pieces to 2 million consumers nationwide, urging them to switch loyalty to the new napkin.


Without naming names, the mailer claims that Brawny Soft & Strong is softer and stronger than the leading everyday brand -- Georgia-Pacific's own Mardi Gras napkin.


"Well, if they trade up to Brawny, that's not a bad thing," said Steve LeVeau, director of napkin marketing at Georgia-Pacific. "We prefer to drive our more premium brands, the price brands being price competitive."


Targeting families with older children, Brawny Soft & Strong replaces the 2-year-old Quilted Northern napkin, another Georgia-Pacific brand.


The mailers were executed with help from DVC Worldwide, Morristown, NJ. A first drop in February to 2 million households announced the market launch of this new napkin. Results from that effort are still coming in.


In a way, the current marketing is also rebranding, particularly after consumers resisted a Quilted Northern napkin.


"Consumers had a hard time reconciling a bath tissue brand with a napkin brand," LeVeau said. "The Brawny equity really delivered on the strength, and people saw it as a natural tie-in with towels versus a durable brand with a bath tissue."


Both mail drops are part of a broader marketing push for Brawny Soft & Strong. This includes television and print advertising, consumer promotions, public relations, freestanding inserts, in-store and online coupons through Catalina Marketing and a NASCAR team co-sponsorship.


In June, e-mails start going to names in the Georgia-Pacific house file. Brawny Soft & Strong also will share integrated marketing programs with the Brawny towel team.


Catalina is supplying the names for the mail effort. Prospects on the database typically are users of 1-ply or everyday napkins. They are also consumers who previously used the now-discarded Quilted North napkin or a similar premium product.


"We wanted to target them first, knowing that they have bought into the category," LeVeau said of the first drop. "We'll be targeting the same profile again, but we're also expanding and going down a bit into lower household incomes to try and trade people up from the value brands as well."


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