Kruger brings its messy, human message to its multicultural strategy

The CPG adapts "Unapologetically Human" into three languages with new edits and original music.


Kruger is bringing the human, storytelling-focused approach of last summer’s masterbrand campaign to its longstanding strategy for reaching Canada’s multicultural audiences.

Kruger – maker of Cashmere and Purex Bathroom Tissue, Scotties Facial Tissue and SpongeTowels Paper Towels – is adapting its “Unapologetically Human” campaign to multicultural audiences, with creative in Hindi/Urdu, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Like the launch spot, the campaign includes scenes that show the messy, but emotionally important moments, that make us “human,” from messy babies to a young woman stuffing her bra with tissue to a mother getting interrupted while on the toilet. The multicultural versions feature updated music by artists Qurram ‘Q’ Hussain in Hindi/Urdu, Moulann in Mandarin and Mr. Will Wong in Cantonese. All with original lyrics that drive home the message that these are the kind of messy moments we all go through, and what ultimately make us human, but with a slightly stronger emphasis on the fact that these are not the kinds of things that should make us “give up.”

The new creative was done in collaboration with film director Bobby Singh Brown and Kruger’s multicultural agency Ethnicity Matters.

First launched last summer, “Unapologetically Human” was a masterbrand campaign created by Broken Heart Love Affair that departed from Kruger’s typical brand-focused approach, as well as from the clean, white, mess-free imagery typically seen in advertising for household paper. Even Kruger, which has not been shy in the past about showing messes, has typically also shown those messes getting cleaned up, especially in multicultural work.

That campaign acknowledged the “imperfect” lives we all lead, a move away from functional benefits and product-specific attributes. But it – as well as this adaptation – still showed “everyday uses,” albiet in a more emotionally relevant way that put the consumer’s experience first, according to Kruger CMO Susan Irving. While this is the first time in several years that Kruger hasn’t developed an entirely new campaign for multicultural audiences, the masterbrand approach was one the company wanted to bring to multicultural audience, which have long been a priority for the company.

“We strongly believe in the power of multicultural marketing, and the importance of reimagining our communications to establish relevancy, cultural meaning, and authentic storytelling,” Irving says. “We wanted ‘Unapologetically Human’s’ multicultural adaptation to be equally, if not more compelling for its target audiences.”

That’s why the brand decided not to cut corners, she says, but to instead reimagine three new spots with original music and a complete re-edit of footage by Ethnicity Matters’ production team.

“Inclusive marketing is table stakes in Canada these days,” says Bobby Sahni, partner and co-founder at Ethnicity Matters, which has partnered with Kruger Products on multicultural marketing for more than five years. “Our guiding principle is to be ‘in-culture’, not just ‘in-language,’ because multicultural content must be compelling and true to lived experiences to resonate emotionally with its intended audience.”

The campaign will run the rest of January in the Toronto and Vancouver markets on culturally relevant broadcast and digital channels.