Kleenex and Ogilvy urge consumers to get their behinds behind flushable cleansing cloths

Kleenex has released a TVC via Ogilvy & Mather called the “We’re behind bums” manifesto featuring comedian Madeleine Sami spinning an impassioned rhyme about our forgotten behinds.

The TVC features many-a-pun about bottoms with an array of creative names for them: derrière, crack, posterior, well shaped money-maker, internet breaker and other bum-related expressions.

Not to mention shots of bums: tradies’ bums, rugby players’ bums, a cyclist’s bum, and a skateboarder’s bum, all packed into one 30-second TVC.

The spot is promoting consumers to creative a “movement” by being nicer to our bums and use a duo of Kleenex products for the best wipe. Kleenex suggests Kleenex’s Cottonelle flushable cleansing cloths after a good ol’ wipe with Kleenex Cottonelle gentle clean toilet tissue for the “freshest feeling yet”.

On its website consumers can “Join the movement” by signing an online manifesto to receive $2 off the total purchase price when buying the cleansing cloths and toilet paper together.

Another spot last year had Kleenex steering away from the long a tradition of rolly dogs, tacky euphemisms and smiling actors and brought Sami onboard to spruik its moistened wipes to New Zealanders. 

Parents have been using moistened wipes for years to clean up their babies’ bums. But they haven’t quite taken off with adults, although as Rory Sutherland says in his inimitable style, using a dry piece of paper to clean your arse rather than something that’s wet is fairly irrational. It’s very hard to change engrained habits without some very good incentives or some nudging in the right direction and that’s where advertising comes in, so Kleenex and Ogilvy & Mather have used a dash of humour in an effort to catch the attention of wealthier defecators, change their bathroom routine and get them to finish the job off with a wipe. 

And while its website says the towelettes are “environmentally responsible” last year Fair Go showed a Kiwi plumber who’s seeing more blocked pipes as a result of the wipes; there’s a stoush in Canada over expensive blockages; and in the UK, the Daily Mail reported that they cause up to 75 percent of sewer blockages because they don’t break down like toilet paper and Thames Water said the huge ‘fatberg’ discovered in London last year was created because “fat clings to wipes, wipes cling to the fat“.  

There are also concerns that moistened wipes are causing an increase in allergic reactions


Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Creative Director: Paul Doffizi
Art Directors: Pete Wujkowski and Paul Doffizi 
Copywriter: Pete Wujkowski
Group Account Director: Ben Reece
Senior Account Manager: Cécile Cantin

Production Company: TVNZ Blacksand
Director: Gina Kindred
Producer: Quentin Fullerton–Smith

Client: Kimberly-Clark
Head of Marketing: Grant Hartley
Senior Brand Manager: Pia Rampling

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