Over the years, Kimberly-Clark has used rugged NFL players and glamorous actresses to promote its Depend brand of leak-proof underwear as not just embarrassment-preventing but as stylish, too. But now the company is really pushing the envelope, so to speak, with a provocative "Drop Your Pants for Underwareness" campaign.
The campaign features this TV commercial, set to the retro sound of British pop band the Creation's 1966 single "Making Time."
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Even edgier is this Web-only spot featuring Depend employees hip-hop dancing to the old-school beat of a rap song, "Drop Your Pants," with lyrics that urge us to "wave your hands in the air if your legs are bare."
This might all seem a bit behind the curve, considering actor Mark Wahlberg - who in a previous incarnation as early 1990s rapper Marky Mark helped invent the droopy trousers/visible underwear phenomenon - recently counseled Justin Bieber to pull his pants up.
But for good measure, the Depend campaign also has a cause-related marketing angle. Those who agree are invited to post pictures of themselves in Depend shorts on social media sites. And for each bit of such, uh, exposure, Kimberly-Clark promises to donate $1 to the Simon Foundation for Continence and United Way Worldwide , up to a total of $3 million, the New York Times reports.
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In an effort to persuade Americans of all ages that it's OK to wear "a different kind of underwear," the campaign proclaims that as many as 65 million Americans may need to wear Depend shorts. That's considerably higher than the 25 million estimate by the National Association for Continence of Americans with various forms of urinary incontinence.
But perhaps it's just an effort to establish brand awareness among youth-obsessed boomers and older members of Generation X. The same company that's staging a dance party at New York's Pier 97 in August - at which the audience will be encouraged to don Depend undergarments - has also quietly introduced a home delivery service for its products, The Street.com reports, "making it easier to buy a product that was always a touchy subject."
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