Kimberly-Clark Tackles Potty Training Woes With New App

Swaps augmented reality for utility

Millennial moms want parenting help, but they want to do it their own way. And Kimberly-Clark hopes to convey that key point with a mobile campaign for its Pull-Ups brand that debuts this week.

"She wants some help with potty training, but she doesn’t exactly want to be told specifically this is how you get it done because everybody wants to approach it differently," said Melanie Huet, brand director of child care at Kimberly-Clark.

Today, Pull-Ups begins a media push around its new Time to Potty iPhone and Android app that builds on a program the brand launched last year. This year’s campaign significantly beefs up mobile as a utility tool for moms while downplaying some of the previous app’s features like augmented reality.

Time to Potty uses the age and training stage of a child to customize app content with rewards and push notifications that reinforce potty training. For example, push notifications are sent based on the last time that the child went to the bathroom with a customized schedule. Parents receive a progress report showing the child's status each week.

"Before I’d say we put more of the burden on mom to remember when it was a potty break and she got to drive the engagement with the app almost 100 percent. The area that we were able to improve is taking some of the pressure off of mom with this app and let the app actually help you along the way by providing some of those reminders," Huet said.

While parents control the bulk of the app’s activity, there are also some features built in for kids. Forty in-app games feature Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Jake and the Never Land Pirates in addition to branded Pull-Ups content.

"We did a lot of research on what types of games these 18-month-year old kids are able to play [to look for] what’s going to create a game that really isn’t about winning in the traditional sense of a game—it’s really more of an experience that’s fun," said Dwayne Raupp, vp and ecd at Organic, which worked with Pull-Ups to create the app.

Mindshare helped with a media buy to support the program that launches tomorrow, which includes in-app gaming, display and search ads. Additionally, the campaign will be promoted on Pull-Ups’ Facebook and Pinterest pages. The app is part of a bigger recent revamp around the Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy. The program centers on a website that houses potty training resources through all steps of the process.

Time to Potty's downloads number wasn't disclosed by the parties involved.