Babycare products doing just fine in stinky economy, thank you

By Robert Klara on Tue Jul 13 2010


Here's a recessionary factoid for your next cocktail party. In 2009, the inflation rate pulled a U-turn and turned into the deflation rate, falling by half a percentage point. Meanwhile, between 2005 and 2009, the retail-dollar compound annual growth rate of babycare supplies grew by 2 percent. Which can only mean one thing: Diapers and butt-wipes are in better shape than U.S. currency.
  Hey, we didn't make this up ourselves. You'll find it on page 7 of the latest report from the indefatigable number crunchers at Packaged Facts, who've stumbled on a number of other interesting tidbits in the just-released report, "Babycare Supplies in the U.S." Go ahead and make fun, but this seldom-touted segment of the economy is worth a staggering $7 billion. What's more, not only has a (forgive us) poopy economy done little to stem the brisk sales of diapers and such (the highest performers were actually wipes and bodycare goods, which grew by 17.1 and 10.1 percent, respectively, last year), Americans plunked down more money on baby stuff even though they're having fewer babies. The U.S. birth rate stood at just 13.7 percent last year, a 43 percent plummet from the 1950s.
  Which, if anything, shows that while adults may be skimping on themselves in this still-rotten economy, they're still shelling out plenty of money for Junior. And when it comes to having fresh diapers on hand, that's a thing we should probably all be thankful for. Photo via.

If you do not know the Pull-Ups potty dance, you are missing out

Posted on Thu Feb 25 2010


Eek! BrandFreak woke up this morning to find that Zooey (yes, that unpotty-trained dog again) had peed all over the place. We're so frustrated that we've decided to try (yes, we're desperate) Kimberly-Clark's tried-and-true potty dance. We wrote about the potty dance last year. Now, JWT New York has refreshed the campaign for K-C's Pull-Ups brand with TV, print, online and in-store ads and even house parties where moms and kids (that's right) do the potty dance. (It's kind of like the chicken dance, except you do it when you gotta go, you know?) Pull-Ups tapped children's songwriter Ralph Covert as the face of the campaign, and he's also encouraging families to drop off unused diapers at local women's and children's centers. We went online to to try to learn the dance ourselves, and hey, we've almost got it. Do we "feel the rhythm"? We do! Oh no, the pooch just went on the couch! (We'll be back.)

—Posted by Elaine Wong

K-C's GoodNites brand gets into the business of bedtime stories

Posted on Wed Feb 24 2010


BrandFreak should not have gotten a dog. Not only is the creature not potty trained, but it's hyper active and keeps us up all night! Thank goodness for Kimberly-Clark's GoodNites bedtime stories. (OK, they're meant for toddlers, but so what?) The maker of Huggies and Kleenex has launched "a series of 20, five-minute audio bedtime stories that will fill each night with a new, fantastical adventure," thus making bedtime less stressful for bedwetting kids and their parents. For instance, there's the story of Iggy, a boy who "embarks on wild adventures with his Wiggy Bed, building self-confidence along the way." Parents can download the series for free at The brand is also running a contest to pick the best consumer-generated Iggy story. (The winning pick will be recorded in a video segment.) No, it's not recommended for dogs, but Zooey, our puppy, did go to sleep listening to it. Might just put a diaper on that dog next.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Drew Brees also a champion at choosing very absorbent diapers

Posted on Wed Feb 10 2010


Procter & Gamble's Pampers has taken on a difficult challenge: How do you market diapers to men? The answer: Get a football player to star in your ad. In this case, it's Drew Brees, quarterback for the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Here, Brees is presented in a two-minute video from StrawberryFrog as an expert with all kinds of equipment, even the kind that babies poop into. To show how tough Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers with Dry Max are, Brees hurls a football at one of the diapers and then throws one at the other leading brand, Huggies Little Movers. Brees' shot, from 30 yards away, is impressive, but doesn't prove much, so another test is introduced with a blue liquid (for maximum visibility, an announcer explains), which the Pampers diaper absorbs more thoroughly than the competition. Getting Brees for the ad was quite a coup, though one fan wonders why Brees chose Pampers of all brands. "You are Drew Freaking Brees, you can do better than that," rails a blogger called Backseat Fan. But YouTube commenters see the endorsement solidifying Brees' aw-shucks appeal: "Did you see him holding his son with the giant headphones on right after they won? Adorable!"

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Kimberly-Clark tries to get more Earth-friendly with new diapers

Posted on Fri Apr 17 2009


Kimberly-Clark is trying to get greener across the whole personal-care category. Earlier this month, it launched Scott Naturals, the first eco-friendly line of toilet paper, paper towels and napkins from a major packaged-goods player. (Marcal and Seventh Generation already have Earth-friendly rolls.) Now, it's introduced Huggies Pure & Natural diapers, made from natural and organic materials that promise the most gentle comfort (and leakage protection—what good is a diaper if it spills?!). To generate awareness, K-C offered 500 mommy bloggers a chance to try the product. It's also launched a contest, Enjoy the Ride Rewards, which gives moms a year's supply of free diapers. Yippee! So far, K-C's already gotten 150,000 requests (and counting) for free samples. Does America have diaper fever?

—Posted by Elaine Wong



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