D-I-Y experiential paper towel ads

One thought that might come to mind as you leaf through the November issue of Canadian House and Home and see a real Scott paper towel inserted in the fold is: so simple, so effective - and so funny that no one thought of it before.

One thought that might come to mind as you leaf through the November issue of Canadian House and Home and see a real Scott paper towel inserted in the fold is: so simple, so effective – and so funny that no one thought of it before.

The message is, ‘When you have a bad mess, you want to have one of these towels around,’ says Angus Tucker, partner at John St., the agency behind the concept.

Originally, the campaign was to be television-based, but Tucker says they got to thinking that it would be great if people could actually hold a Scott Towel in their hands so they could see the towel’s strength firsthand.

Scott Towels liked the idea and so John St. tried to develop it logistically. They wanted to put a depiction of a wine stain directly onto a real inserted paper towel, but found that it would be too expensive to feed a paper towel through the printing press. So, in the end, they placed the towel over an image of a spilled wine glass and, in another execution, a doggie doo stain. Canadian House and Home was the only magazine that could accommodate the idea.

Production costs ended up being about three times that of a regular print ad. John St. also included a coupon for Scott on the last page of the insert, and will use coupon redemptions to judge its effectiveness.

Consumers could, in fact, tear out the real-life-size paper towel from the magazine and use it. But that’s not so much the point of the ads, says Tucker. ‘It’s more the novelty of it.’

Targeted at moms, Tucker explains that with ads for a product such as paper towels, you have to get people’s attention quickly, since they’re not going to spend 30 minutes reading about the virtues of the product as they would for a much higher-priced item like a car. ‘We wanted to show the real messes that moms deal with in an interesting, surprising way.’

Additional creative will appear on transit shelters, billboards and on shopping carts. Similar print ads, minus the towel insertion, will run September through December in magazines such as Canadian Living and Flare.

Credits

John St. does not give credit information