Bounty Rap: A fresh breeze in the paper towel industry


How to promote paper towels?

Well advertising arguments usually revolve around the same old „soaks up more“ or „more tear-resistent.“
As boring or common as these products might seem at first glance, they represent an industry of attractive proft margins and increasing sales. In the U.S. the big players are Procter&Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and of Georgia-Pacific. In Europe these players are accompanied by SCA and Meta Tissue. The European market alone accounts to EUR 8.5 bilion and makes up one fourth of the global market for hygene tissues. In Germany the consumption of such tissues sees a strong growth and accounts to a stunning 13kg – not per household but per capita!

In Europe and supposedly in the U.S. too, the market can basically be split up in two segments: the low-priced products and the premium ones. Prices differ greatly. A premium brand such as Bounty or Zewa can easily cost twice as much as a low-priced ALDI or Wal-Mart version (although often the production facilities they come from are the same. Have a look at the ZIP Code!).

While the cheap products sell by the price, the expensive ones have grown into strong brands that need to be cultivated in order to maintain their position and of course survive the strong competition. I personally love paper towels because you can use them for anything and once used you can simply throw them away. Organizations such as the WWF of course see these products critically as the production not only consumes a lot of cellulose but also a lot of water. But for many consumers convenience still plays the bigger role and this explains why sales for the premium brands remain strong.

Back to the commercial. Bounty (by Procter&Gamble) here took the old approach of enumerating the benefits into a new look. No longer showing household scenes and mothers cleaning up after their children, the ad seems to address children directly. Although the scene shows a class-room, the students to me look like in their 20s. Maybe it is rather a college class-room than a school class-room (although the name of the school „Central High School“ is displayed). It could in fact address college freshmen many of whom are now for the first time confronted with having to clean their own dorm themselves. And this is where paper towels come in handy. Which brand to purchse if you never before bought cleaning utensils? Ah wait there was that fun commercial for Bounty! Yes, this is how it works…

Overall I must admit I like the fresh approach and I am sure the campaign will be worth its spendings.

Here is a helpful article by RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry, to get a better insight into the market for paper tissue