No Product Demo for This Packaged Good

A national Clorox TV and print campaign that breaks today eschews packaged-goods tradition: It includes no product demo, nor does it target competitors of the new Formula 409 Wipes. Instead, Clorox is going after paper towels.

Three tongue-in-cheek spots from DDB in San Francisco show absurd examples of consumers getting rid of their paper-towel rolls. In one, a woman removes the roll, pulls out a saw and hacks at the towel holder’s wooden dowel. In the last shot, the roll has been replaced by a package of Formula 409 Wipes, and the dog is chewing on the dowel.

The work carries the tagline, “You only need one towel. The towel that cuts grease.”

The campaign is the first shaped and executed by executive creative director Lisa Bennett since she moved in December to DDB from Leo Burnett in Chicago.

“We liked the idea of using humor in order to break through in this very competitive category,” said Beata Grabowski, marketing director for Formula 409.

The 15-second commercials will run for at least three months. Two print ads, also showing the Formula 409 Wipes container replacing paper towels, will appear in women’s magazines.

Emphasizing modern colors and peppy original music, the commercials have a more contemporary feel than ads for other household packaged goods, said Bennett.

“Wipes are a really competitive category. With a lot of other messages out there, we wanted to go in a completely different door,” she said. “This is a little more highbrow. We give the consumer credit for knowing how to use a wipe.”

More than 31 wipe products were launched last year, and 24 have been introduced this year, according to Productscan Online of Naples, N.Y. In comparison, six new paper-towel products were brought to the market last year, with four this year.

U.S. consumers spent $872 million on household-cleaning wipes and accessories last year, and the market may grow to $4 billion by 2007, according to research from Packaged Facts in New York, a division of

“Everything is about convenience,” said Don Montouri, acquisitions editor for Packaged Facts. Although there are at least three leading cleaning wipes in the marketplace, including another Clorox product, Montouri predicted Formula 409 Wipes will do well. “If you’re already using 409, then having a 409 Wipe is just so much easier,” he said. “There is still plenty of room for market growth in the wipes area.”

The Clorox Co. in Oakland, Calif., would not disclose the media spend. The Formula 409 brand was backed by about $20 million in spending last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.