Aging Baby Boomers Forcing P&G into Incontinence Ad Push

By Shawn Paul Wood 


There’s nothing fun about this problem, other than the millions of dollars it brings in. As the Baby Boomers of America get older and older — according to the U.S. Census, there are 76.4 million of them — the need for related products increases.

Unfortunately, biological things happen to the human body that forces companies to consider how to make money off those isses help resolve some of those pressing (and often embarrassing) ailments for aging denizens of the world.

That’s why Proctor & Gamble has decided it may be a profitable good idea to get back in the incontinence advertising game for the first time in more than 15 years.

We’re sensing a trend here.

According to an article in AdAge, P&G will put $150 million in marketing support behind the effort in the U.S. alone. That’s from Tom Wilson, a former Kimberly-Clark Corp. executive who’s now principal in the Caregiver Partnership, where he’s blogged about P&G’s plans in recent months.

Mr. Wilson said he’s heard from industry executives that P&G will launch 24 items in pads and underpants, with a three-year commitment to a campaign with heavy concentration on digital, social and mobile media. Leo Burnett handles Always.

always discreetBased on research and a good amount of inside information from Wilson, P&G has been testing incontinence products in the U.K. since 2012,  under the Always Envive and Always Discreet brand names.

Back to the “trend,” sales show that the aging of Boomers and the rise in demand for incontinence products is (of course) correlative. In fact, the $1.4 billion market rose 6% over the past year vs. 1% for all of household and personal-care products, according to Nielsen data from Deutsche Bank.

Mr. Wilson notes that 10,000 boomers turn 65 in the U.S. alone every day, building the potential market even larger. And he believes P&G is smart to go with its billion-dollar Always brand, since 70% of the incontinence market is women. He estimates Always already gets 40% of its maxi pad sales from women using the product for light bladder leakage.

Here’s to hoping the advertising doesn’t end up looking like happy-go-lucky conversations about tampons, because those are “always” embarrassing too.