The toilet paper I’ve always been waiting for

Finally! Sourced: tempo website

SCA – who recently bought German megabrand Tempo from international consumer products mammoth Procter & Gamble – seem to think I spend my whole day thinking about toilet paper. No, on Assael’s model for understanding buying behaviour this is bottom right box: habitual purchase. We go to the supermarket, think for a fraction of a second and buy the same old toilet paper we’ve been buying for years… And by the way, the campaign was so quick (posters only, no more than a week?), anybody would be forgiven for blinking and not noticing it.

If the website is anything to go by (screenshot right: source www.tempo-toilettenpapier.de) we should be jumping for joy and writing finally in (unused) toilet paper in the sky.

I thought the two most boring product sectors to work in were margarine (I speak from experience) and washing powders. Rewind. Let’s add toilet paper to the list. Tempo: people have not been waiting for this toilet paper. You have! I guess this was the opportunity you’ve always been waiting for, finally seized by acquiring the mega-brand. But I’m sure your post-launch focus groups will tell you that.

Just in case we’re still not convinced, you’ll be pleased there’s what the marketing johnnies call a “call to action” on the site inviting us to tell SCA “what you’ve been waiting so long for and what has finally come to fruition”. Well, I wonder how many consumers will be screaming (or typing in capital letters): “TEMPO TOILET PAPER!!”. According to the quote on the site, some woman from Frankfurt has “finally got more time for her family”. Is that because of this new toilet paper? In case you’re not sure, you can watch the ad on the website and download the song to hum along to on the bus, “I can feel it in the air, it’s finally there”.

Ok, sarcasm aside, what is SCA doing this for? To extend the brand? To corner the competition? To raise their profile (most mortals have never heard of SCA)? To fill unused capacity in production? Or a simple example of product development?

My guess is all of these reasons. Not sure P&G would have done this though. They’d also have gone much more for function, function, function (probably with Stiftung Warentest endorsement).

So, in the meantime, thinking about the standard techniques used in low-interest categories to inject genuine interest, how could SCA make the “long-awaited” launch of Tempo toilet paper stick more in the, er, mind?

Alex Woodruff

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One response to “The toilet paper I’ve always been waiting for

  1. What is even more disturbing is the fact, that tempo first let the girl in the ad perform an E for “Endlich” what makes her looking weird just to add a small e to the word “endlich” afterwards. Maybe they figured out that no one would recognize the girl as an E. But I did!

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