This Paper Towel Brand Doesn’t Shy Away From Showing the Blood, Sweat and Tears of Real Life

Canadian CPG company puts a spotlight on life's messier moments

Still from Kruger Products ad
Nosebleeds, spoiled milk and dirty diapers all star in a new campaign for Kruger Products. Kruger Products
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Ironically, the ads for products we buy to clean up or prevent messes often have a noticeably sanitized quality about them. 

Some, like Charmin, rely on humor and euphemisms to relay its messaging without getting into the dirty details. Bounty’s ads have long taken place in glaringly white kitchens in the suburbs. Pad and tampon ads only recently started showing actual blood instead of a mysterious blue liquid. 

Which is why a new ad for Kruger Products, a Canadian company that owns a suite of paper towel, tissue and toilet paper brands, is particularly striking. 

The ad shows the messiness of life’s ups, downs and even mundane moments. A girl ugly cries while video chatting with a friend. A panicked dad runs to the bathroom while his child’s diaper visibly leaks. A husband feeds his elderly wife who can’t eat on her own and a ballerina winces in pain as her injured feet bleed in the shower.

Called “Unapologetically Human,” the campaign was created by Broken Heart Love Affair, a Toronto-based agency that opened its doors earlier this year. Set to the song “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man, the campaign stars real families. Mark Zibert, who recently worked with creative agency Cosette on a moving ad for Canada’s SickKids Foundation, directed the spot, which was shot in Vancouver.

Jay Chaney, partner and chief strategy officer at Broken Heart Love Affair, said “Unapologetically Human” aims to expose the “softer side” of humanity. 

“When we looked at this line of products and thought of them in terms of the why they really exist, it became clear it is because of our humanity” he said. “It immediately made us feel something because there has been shame around not being these perfect beings who don’t make a mess, who don’t pee, but we all do. We are all beautifully human and we wanted to celebrate that.”

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@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.