How Kruger is evolving its multicultural strategy

New TV spots for Purex, Scotties and Sponge Towels show the CPG co's approach to targeting Chinese Canadians.
Purex photo

Kruger’s first major efforts at reaching Chinese Canadians came in 2015, when the strong market position of its brands meant it needed to look at new consumer segments to grow its business.

Nancy Marcus, corporate VP of marketing at Kruger Products, says the approach has been paying off, but it has evolved since then. The main way that’s happened has been through the CPG company gathering more insights about multicultural consumers, finding ways to be more emotionally relevant in a way that aligns with the company’s broader brand strategies.

“It’s a real effort to be respectful, knowledgeable, relevant and emotional,” Marcus says. “Even the briefs, because of our learnings, are very focused on what the insight is. Is that really looking at the family, the relationships and the social dynamics, or is it stereotypical?”

New TV spots created by multicultural agency Ethnicity for the Purex, Scotties and Sponge Towels brands will run on leading Chinese television network through the rest of the year, with a broader campaign that features greater outreach through social media and certain retailers.

As with most CPG products, the target for the ads are families. Marcus says that while it is important to reflect the differences in family relationships and social dynamics among Chinese Canadians, there is still a need to within the broader brand positioning.

“Chinese consumers are also watching and seeing English ads, so you have to have a seamless communication plan,” she says.

For example, the new spot for Sponge Towels features the same mascot in a paper towel suit that appears in the brand’s English and French ads. Even as the daughter risks disaster several times as she bumps into furniture, the brand personality of not needing to stress out over potential messes comes into play because of the Sponge Towels man having the mom’s back when a glass finally does crash to the floor.

The differences that will resonate with Chinese Canadian families are subtle. While the English executions of the “Tissue for any issue” positioning is based more on clever copy and wordplay, the insight suggested the Chinese ad should still be lighthearted but prove that tagline in more practical ways. That’s why the product is shown in action in a range of situations, with a relatable moment of a mom cleaning up everything from chocolate to shaving cream to tears from her son’s face.

But given the target of the ads, most of the important differences come down to differences in family relationships.

“Those are also different, so that has been demonstrated through the creative,” Marcus says. “That’s why Scotties talks also talks about multi-generational enjoyment, and has that moment where the grandmother cleans the kid’s face and gets that reaction, which is very endearing.”

Another example of those family insights coming into play is the new spot for Purex. In English ads for the brand, it shows a mother with her children, and no father. But the Chinese ad features a larger family of a mother, father and three kids, based on the insight that Chinese Canadian families tend to be larger, on average, than the general population.