Fallon Gives Voice to Brawny Man

NEW YORK Billy Baldwin is the voice of the new Brawny Man in spots by Fallon introducing the brand’s revamped packaging.

The three TV spots by the New York shop broke this week and show two paper towel rolls conversing via voiceovers. The roll in the old packaging—voiced by Burt Reynolds—shows a man who is more burly than the clean-shaven, younger-looking icon of the new packaging. One spot shows the new icon enjoying a soap opera while the icon on the old packaging scoffs. Other ads place the duo on a park bench and practicing yoga.

“The new Brawny is not effeminate in any way—the character is still a very masculine character,” Fallon creative director Ari Merkin said. “Billy had that masculinity, yet he was still an enlightened contemporary guy.”

The ads were created to showcase the new packaging, which prominently features the new Brawny man with dark hair and a red plaid shirt, as well as the fact that the paper towel is now softer.

“Brawny was considered a tougher towel … a slightly rougher texture. They remedied that with the new improvement,” said Merkin. “We wanted to announce that in the biggest possible way.”

The shoot, with director Douglas Avery of Villains, took place two months ago in Los Angeles. All three spots were shot in one day because “we didn’t have to work on performances,” Merkin said.

The paper towel rolls were shot as is, without special effects.

“We didn’t want to resort to cheesy animation,” Merkin says. “We simply gave them personalities and let those personalities dictate dialogues.”

Eight print ads, showing the roll with the new packaging in situations such as reading a romance novel, support the effort.

Creatives on the campaign included Merkin, art director Jerome Marucci and copywriters Scott Cooney and Allon Tartaka.

Georgia-Pacific spent about $23 million in measured media on advertising Brawny paper towels in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.