A marketing mistake from Andrex?

The Andrex Puppy, seen here in a British adver...

The Andrex Puppy in an advert from 1994 (photo: Wikipedia)

Regular readers may be forgiven for thinking that this blog has become rather lavatorial but I can’t help but join the debate on Andrex’s latest advertising campaign, ‘Scrunch or Fold.’ In this campaign Andrex has dropped its lovable puppy and asks us to join a debate on whether we scrunch or fold our toilet paper. Yes, really!

I don’t know about you but that is not top of my topics of conversation. What I do with my toilet paper is not something I wish to discuss with anyone, even my nearest and dearest. Now I can hear you say ‘but you’re old and out of touch. You’re missing the point. You don’t understand engagement marketing.’ All potentially valid arguments except that it was my 21 year old daughter who stopped me buying the Scrunch and Fold packs in the supermarket because she thought the campaign was so tacky.

Are we having the right conversation?

This campaign has certainly got people talking so it has achieved the first goal for any marketing but are we having the conversation Andrex wants us to have? It seems to me that most of the debate is amongst marketers and the majority feel that Andrex has got this wrong. The consensus seems to be that Andrex has fallen for the hype that we need to create engagement in our advertising these days. The sad thing is that Andrex has been operating engagement marketing for over 40 years. We  have collected puppy tokens and exchanged them for cuddly toys for years. A quick look at the Andrex Facebook page shows far more engagement with the puppy photos, videos and comments than with the ‘Scrunch and Fold’ campaign. In fact in recent days there seems to have been no mention of the vote even though the campaign is still airing on TV.

So is this a mistake?

The puppy was very clever advertising. Watching the puppy’s antics with a toilet roll got our attention and conveyed the benefits of soft, strong and very long both visually and orally. We instantly recognised the branding in the supermarket and took the desired action. We bought!

I wonder what Andrex was hoping to achieve with this campaign. Are they trying to win a new generation of customers. Perhaps after more than 40 years of the puppy they have got bored. Whatever they are trying to achieve I think this campaign may have back fired. Reading comments on other blog posts I can see I’m not alone in changing my buying habits so this campaign might actually have lost them sales.

What do you think? Have you joined the debate? Have you changed your buying habits? I don’t want to know whether you scrunch or fold but I would like to know whether you think this is good marketing or not, please leave a comment.

In case you missed the campaign here’s the video. 


2 thoughts on “A marketing mistake from Andrex?

  1. Pingback: Iconic Ads of the 90s - TellyJuice: Creative Video Production

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