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Procter & Gamble’s Charmin drives sales through interactive ad campaign

The Charmin mobile ad

Procter & Gamble’s Charmin brand is stepping up its mobile commerce game with an advertising campaign that lets consumers buy products.

The Charmin mobile ads promote the company’s Ultra Strong products and show users where they can buy toilet paper online. The Charmin ads are running inside TV Guide’s iPhone application.

“Mobile continues to grow as a strong digital connection for both existing and new customers for retailers and eRetailers,  from product information and reviews, finding the nearest store to completing a purchase,” said Lisa Jester, spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH.

“We will continue to focus on consumer needs and support our consumer throughout his or her shopping  journey,” she said.

“We recently launched our mobile site with a holistic execution, including mobile search and mobile iMedia.  This drives increased awareness and purchase consideration as we provide our consumer with relevant content where he or she is connected digitally.”

Mobile goods
The banner ads read, “Chasing after a more dependable clean? Get clean with fewer pieces behind.”

Consumers are encouraged to tap on the mobile banner ad to buy the product.

Once users tap on the ad, they are directed to Charmin’s mobile site that shows a list of online retailers where consumers can buy Charmin toilet paper, including Walmart, and

Consumers can then tap to view the price and check-out via the online retailer.

The ads also enables consumers to buy Charmin’s other products with a drop-down menu that shows all six toilet paper products.

Consumers can also type in their ZIP code to find nearest stores where Charmin products are available.

The ads also heavily promote Charmin’s iPhone and Android SitOrSquat mobile app, which lets users find public restrooms. Users can also “Like” the brand’s Facebook page or follow Charmin on Twitter via the ads.

Users can learn about Charmin’s products

“We have reached a point where mobile advertising is not just for experimental budgets anymore,” said Elena Perez, director of marketing at Medialets, New York.

“Both Nielsen and Pew Internet Life report that about half of United States mobile users now have smartphones – the ubiquity of the device means that brands not exploring the opportunity are now missing out on a critical touch point for consumer engagement,” she said.

“Though it is a broad category to speak to, CPG is not an exception – brands that want to reach and influence consumers need to go where consumers are.”

Ms. Perez is not affiliated with Charmin. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

On-the-go consumers
Charmin is the latest example of Procter & Gamble’s push into digital by using mobile advertising.

Each of the company’s brands has a developed mobile advertising strategy. With Charmin’s emphasis on commerce as the draw to get users to click on the ad, Procter & Gamble is showing that consumers are tech-savvy enough to want to buy things through their mobile devices.

Procter & Gamble’s Olay and CoverGirl brands have also used mobile advertising to promote new products.

For example, CoverGirl recently ran a mobile ad campaign to promote its Blast FlipStick lipstick (see story).

For consumer packaged goods brands, serving mobile ads is a natural way for consumers to interact with brands while they are on the go.

Additionally, giving users choices on how to buy small-ticket products such as toilet paper via their handsets is a smart initiative that can lead to either online or in-store sales for Charmin.

“CPG brands can benefit from mobile rich media by identifying the creative features and capabilities that provide the best forum to educate or entertain their target audience,” Ms. Perez said.

“Built-in social media connections and store finders can be included to drive users further down the funnel,” she said.

“When you identify a creative approach that aligns with your brand message and campaign goal, you can build that meaningful connection with your audience.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York