Angel Soft Continues to Build Ads Around Quiet, Relatable Moments in People’s Lives

Toilet paper brand's new 'Be soft. Be strong' spots

There's a grown man loitering outside the women's room, but he's no creep. He's a single dad waiting for his young daughter. And a few years later, that same guy is getting a different bathroom door slammed in his face because his teenage offspring is "becoming a woman" but absolutely doesn't want to chat with him about it.

A new campaign from Angel Soft intends to "uncover the insightful little moments that we can all appreciate but that you don't see much in advertising," says Karen Costello, executive creative director at Deutsch, the brand's agency.

Three new ads continue under the brand's tagline, "Be soft. Be strong," that Deutsch kicked off about a year and a half ago with digital spots. These are the first in the series to air on TV. See the three spots here:

As a category, toilet paper has tended to focus strictly on product attributes, not emotional heart-tugging stories, Costello says. Her team zeroed in on families, aiming to bust some gender stereotypes and find an untapped niche in the marketing message. And if consumers were touched enough to shed a few tears, well, Angel Soft can double as facial tissue.

"We've tried to weave in the product and brand truths with some human truths," Costello says. "We're finding that intersection to be really fresh and resonant."

"Be soft. Be strong" has so far increased Angel Soft's dollar share and bumped up sales by 6 percent, according to the Georgia-Pacific brand. It launched with a spot called "Happy Father's Day, Mom," an ode to single mothers, and continued with "Grander Parents," about grandparents raising their grandchildren (because of absentee parents).

It's an unusual tack for toilet paper, one that Costello says will continue, given the bottom-line success and the social-media kudos garnered for the brand (thousands of likes and consumer stories shared).

The new ads deal with the truisms of pregnancy—"I've never peed this much in my life," says the character in the spot, "Little Dude"—and a father consoling his young son about a first breakup with sweet bromides like, "When I was your age, the only girl who would talk to me was Grandma" and "I had no game, son."

"We see families in media all the time, but sometimes it's just the surface and not always what really happens," Costello says. "We want to talk about how we actually live and highlight some of the unsung heroes."


Client: Georgia Pacific/Angel Soft

Chief Marketing Officer: Douwe Bergsma

Senior Vice President, General Manager, Bath Tissue: Vivek Joshi

Senior Marketing Director, Brand Center: Shari Neumann

Director, Brand Building: Aviral Singh

Senior Brand Director: Andrew Noble

Senior Brand Manager: Todd Wingfield

Brand Manager: Jeannie Chacko

Associate Brand Manager: Brian Harrison

Social Media Manager: Gisela Carapaica

Agency: Deutsch

Creative Credits:

Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat

Chief Digital Officer, North America: Winston Binch

Chief Creative Officer: Jason Bagley

Executive Creative Director: Karen Costello

Creative Director: Melissa Langston-Wood

Copywriter: Ashley Milhollin

Art Director: Dan Rosenberg

Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo

Executive Integrated Producer: Rachel Seitel

Senior Integrated Producer: Jesse Ferguson

Music Supervisor: Eryk Rich

Senior Audio Producer Chase Butters

Account Management Credits:

Group Account Director: Steve Sanders

Account Director: Lauren Pollare

Account Executive: Bianca Brittain

Account Planning:

Executive Planning Director: Jeffrey Blish

Group Planning Director: Kelsey Hodgkin

Digital Strategist: Janet Shih

Junior Strategist Leigh Citarella

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