Cottonelle Discourages Toilet Paper Hoarding in New Campaign

The Kimberly-Clark brand wants everyone to #ShareASquare instead

Cottonelle ad
The campaign is scheduled to run through April. Cottonelle
Headshot of Paul Hiebert

Once a common household staple, toilet paper has quickly become a hot product in high demand as consumers engage in panic buying amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last week alone, U.S. sales of toilet paper were up more than 120% when compared to the same time last year, according to Nielsen.

In a new ad campaign titled #ShareASquare, Kimberly-Clark toilet paper brand Cottonelle discourages consumers from hoarding its products.

“Instead of stockpiling toilet paper, let’s stock up on generosity,” reads a line from the 30-second spot, which is scheduled to begin airing on TV today and run through April.

“We’ve been watching the conversation around toilet paper unfold in real-time, and while our teams are working day and night to produce and ship product to retailers, we want to invite consumers to #ShareASquare to help others in need,” said Arist Mastorides, family care president of Kimberly-Clark North America, in a statement.

As part of its marketing push, Cottonelle is donating $1 million, along with 1 million rolls of toilet paper, to the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. Each time someone uses the hashtag #ShareASquare, the brand has pledged to donate an additional dollar, with a maximum of $100,000, through June 1.

The #ShareASquare campaign debuted on Cottonelle’s social channels earlier this week, and is slated to appear on primetime shows such as the Modern Family finale, The Masked Singer and Young Sheldon. FCB Chicago served as the creative agency, while Mindshare executed media planning and buying.

Toilet paper continues to be in demand throughout the U.S. Although Pennsylvania is currently under lockdown, Gov. Tom Wolf has allowed Procter & Gamble’s largest U.S. manufacturing plant, located in Mehoopany, to remain in operation so that the CPG giant can continue producing its Charmin toilet paper, among other products.

Earlier this week, Kimberly-Clark reported in an SEC filing that while the company has experienced a short-term boost in demand for some of its products, the novel coronavirus pandemic could ultimately have a negative effect on its bottom line.

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@hiebertpaul Paul Hiebert is a CPG reporter at Adweek, where he focuses on data-driven stories that help illustrate changes in consumer behavior and sentiment.