Kruger campaign targets Chinese-Canadians

New ads for SpongeTowels and Purex address key consumer group

Toronto-based Kruger Products has launched new TV commercials for its SpongeTowels and Purex brands that are specifically aimed at the Chinese-Canadian community. The 30-second spots were developed by Toronto multicultural agency Ethnicity Multicultural Marketing + Advertising, which has been working with Kruger for the past year. The tissue company is in the midst of a major push towards the Chinese-Canadian community, having launching a Chinese New Year-themed promotion for its Scotties brand earlier this year, as well as ongoing ethnic-targeted buys for its Cashmere brand. Kruger is second behind market leader P&G in the paper towel category according to its most recent financial report, with an approximately 25.6% share of the market (P&G controls approximately 33.3% of the market). It is the market leader in the bathroom tissue category, with a 35.3% share. The SpongeTowels commercial, “Chef,” uses the “Sponge Pocket” character featured in the company’s English-language advertising, but nods to the Chinese community through the casting of Asian actors and the use of prominent Chinese chef Joseph Ho. As with the company’s English-language SpongeTowels spots, the commercial features a Sponge Pocket character hovering around Ho as he cooks, waiting to pounce on any unexpected spills. “It’s really maintaining the core strategy and staying true to the existing brand, but they are unique executions that take into consideration the preferences and values of the Chinese consumer,” said Bobby Sahni, Ethnicity partner and co-founder. “The nuances come across in the creative.” The 30-second Purex spot “Piano,” meanwhile, features a young Chinese-Canadian boy who is clearly uncomfortable as he practices his piano, and tells his parents he doesn’t want to practice anymore. The spot continues with the boy fetching a family-size pack of Purex that he then uses as a stool, while the accompanying voiceover says “Families know Purex is pure comfort.” Sahni said that one of the creative insights Ethnicity leveraged when developing the campaign was the fact that Chinese mothers want their children to succeed in everything they do, with music being one of the ubiquitous activities of choice because of the discipline it teaches their children. Sahni said that the goal was to create spots that addressed universal truths and could run in any market. “A lot of marketers and agencies tend to focus on a lot of the cliché images within ethnic communities,” he said. “ play up certain colours, certain music and imagery. My advice to marketers and agencies is not to forget that these consumers are Canadian consumers as well. Yes they have unique preferences and values, but you can’t forget they’re also Canadian, and we have to depict them in that context.” The SpongeTowels ads is running nationally on the Chinese TV networks Omni and Fairchild TV, as well as IPTV platforms, while the Purex ad will run on the same platforms in Western Canada. Kruger is supporting the ads with community sponsorships in Toronto and Vancouver.

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