Cottonelle Almost Gets Social

with 4 Comments

I really enjoyed the Cottonelle “How do you roll?” commercial when I first saw it last week, asking people how they prefer to present their paper, over or under (apparently the answer is over).

But, for a campaign that can get people to the internet pretty easily, their integrated social media, if you can call it that, reminds me more of any empty roll that needs to be replaced.

Yes they have two of their commercial’s characters on Twitter, and a Facebook page, and the poll itself with a nice map of results. But these small efforts are social for social’s sake with very little thought toward tying it all together. They even went out and interviewed folks on the street to add to their actor interviews and put all of it on Youtube, but check out the views on those videos. There is obviously nothing being done to promote them.

It smacks of a brand or agency that thinks social media is suppose to be cheap and easy. I see a multi-million dollar traditional ad campaign and a dollar store social media effort.

There is no effort to engage the consumers, whose attention they are buying with some major TV spots, in a long term way. I am sure the media buys will produce a short bump in sales and if that is all Cottonelle wants, then fine, good show.

But in 2010, pointing people to a micro-site that does not extend the relationship beyond the length of a media buy, is traditional advertising and less effective. The opportunity is to build a community, to engage the consumer in a way that creates a longer term relationship (meaning more money), to ask questions of consumers, to answer questions, to get the people they are pulling in with a clever, simple question, and convert them into spending more time with their brand. Consumers want dialogue.

It is a cute campaign Cottonelle, but perhaps you should consider building consumer relationships with a longer shelf life than say, I don’t know, a roll of toilet paper?

4 Responses

  1. Chris Brashear

    I haven't seen the spots yet but will keep an eye out for them. Its always possible they didn't have the funding available to do a larger online strategy. While funds are increasingly to implement these programs there are still a lot of C-Suites saying “prove it”. This could be Cottonelle's “prove it” campaign that justifies more activity (and funding) in the future given they are happy with the results. I do think the interactive map on is a nice touch. Is the whole campaign groundbreaking and revolutionary… probably not. The positive sign is they built these ads with the CTA being participate online by voting, posting content, etc…

  2. Alyssa G

    These commercials are great – they're concise, funny and effective. However, I think you make a great point that Cottonelle is falling short with their social media execution. The campaign would have been made more effective by building their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts for a few months before launching the TV placements. The audience would be more engaged, and I think the TV spots would have been even more popular.

    Instead of building a relationship, it's a mildly successful campaign. Any impact will fizzle a few weeks after the media buys conclude. I think this is a huge missed opportunity to tie together TV with social media.

  3. jakrose

    Having the simple online interaction is nice. But it just is not enough. If
    you really want to engage people long term, which every company does,
    especially a consumer packaged good, you have to do a little more than an A
    or B question and a little map.

  4. jakrose

    I agree Alyssa. There is so much opportunity to do more here. I am not sure
    if it was more investment of time and money online before hand or after or
    what, but there is something more needed. It just falls flat for me.