VSA Partners, Kleenex Think It’s ‘Time for a Change’

By Erik Oster 

VSA Partners Chicago launched a new campaign for Kleenex showing people helping others in emotional distress.

The campaign is based around an insight from a survey which found that half of respondents missed an opportunity to express their concern for someone, Eric Higgs, general manger-Kleenex brand, explained to AdAge. “Here’s a brand designed to provide care and uplift.”


A 30-second spot shows a group of young boys exiting a bus. One of them stays behind to console a girl who is crying. “People think boys are loud and immature and don’t care about feelings, but they’re wrong,” he tells her, and hands her a Kleenex. Although little context is provided, it appears the girl was bullied on the bus (an easily relatable situation), but whatever the reason the boy’s gesture seems to improve her mood as she exits the bus. The campaign message is summed up in the tagline, “Someone needs one.” A Spanish-language spot from LatinWorks Austin presents a similar situation, with a man providing comfort for a woman crying on a train.

The campaign also includes a partnership with Facebook’s Creative Shop & Studio and real-time marketing shop Vimby, as well as digital billboards, online ads and in-store marketing. Although the agency sat out this campaign, JWT continues to work with Kleenex.