Save the Undies: 5 Questions With U by Kotex Brand Director Kanchan Patkar


U by Kotex - Save the Undies

Last December we checked in on the “Save the Undies” campaign by U by Kotex as we were intrigued by the Carmilla lesbian vampire web series, and we’re happy to report that #SavetheUndies is still going strong.

The campaign has had a (pardon the expression) broad reach and had “an early business impact,” including four million video views on YouTube from January through July 2015; incremental sales from digital media increased double digits compared to the first quarter of 2014; and more than 1 million samples have been distributed to women who asked to join the Save the Undies mission.

As U by Kotex brand director Kanchan Patkar tells us below, the integrated marketing campaign is in the midst of being relaunched with a robust digital media plan, including the opportunity for women to create an UnderWarrior profile on the brand’s website, spread the word via their social channels and be entered for a chance to win a surprise sweepstakes.

The brand is also forming partnerships with top-tier vloggers who are spotlighting the new product in upcoming videos, fresh, informative content on the brand’s owned and promoted social channels, and attention grabbing TV, print and online advertising.

BC: Kanchan, how are you now evolving U by Kotex in terms of product innovation, and how does this new integrated marketing campaign move the brand forward?

U by Kotex Save the UndiesKanchan Patkar: Kimberly-Clark created the feminine care category with the launch of Kotex brand almost 100 years ago. In recent years, Kotex redefined the category with the launch of U by Kotex, which changed the way women think about and experience feminine care.

The U by Kotex brand continues to push category boundaries by giving young women access to new and one-of-a-kind design and protection improvements to help ensure a better feminine care experience overall. This year, the brand has made serious protection improvements to all U by Kotex Ultra Thin pads with the addition of new 3D Capture Core, a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks like no other pad, with Xpress DRI, a cover with crazy-fast absorption that helps stop leaks.

To support the introduction of new 3D Capture Core with Xpress DRI, U by Kotex brand is re-launching its integrated marketing program, Save the Undies. Women lose millions of undies every year due to failed period protection. By adding new 3D Capture Core with Xpress DRI to all its Ultra Thin pads, U by Kotex continues its mission to help stop the senseless destruction of undies.

BC: What does the refreshed campaign feature?

Patkar: The U by Kotex brand’s Save the Undies integrated marketing program includes:
• TV/print advertising to drive reach and awareness, motivating her to Save the Undies and learn more about the new 3D Capture Core with Xpress DRI cover from U by Kotex.
• Online advertising to grab consumer attention and motivate her to take the next step.
• A robust digital media plan that will drive awareness of the new 3D Capture Core with Xpress DRI cover while creating engagement opportunities to build excitement for the product and its ability to protect undies from leaks.
• Partnerships with influencer vloggers who will create Save the Undies themed content and highlight new 3D Capture Core with Xpress DRI pad performance.
• Owned and promoted social channels to feature fresh, informative Save the Undies program and product content.

U by Kotex - Save the Undies sweepstakes

BC: The brand is known for its irreverent, humorous attitude, dating back to your first film (“Love at First Bite,” in August 2014). How do you keep being a category challenger fresh and fun?

Patkar: Our attitude is central to, and driven by, our DNA. Since our launch, the goal has been to take on the conventions of a not-so-fun category and make it as good as it can be. To us, it’s not about women in white dresses running through fields or pouring endless amounts of blue liquid on pads to prove ourselves. It’s about easing the burden of your period in real and relatable ways – ways our girls live today. We do an incredible amount of watching and learning from our girls so we can continue delivering a holistic experience they want to engage with. In short, our attitude is a direct reflection of our girls’ (attitudes).

BC: How do you balance digital and social engagements, from quizzes to games, with experiential elements?

Patkar: We’re always looking for ways to live in her world, versus forcing her into ours. Whether we’re entertaining her when she’s breezing through her social feed, giving her something to laugh at when spending time on YouTube, answering her questions as she asks them on Google, or helping her create a totally rad pair of comic-themed panties to wear (and save!) at ComicCon, we’re integrating our content and experiences into her everyday life.

In short, our success has been driven less from where we connect and more from being relevant and attuned to her behavior, needs and preferences within those spaces whenever we do.

BC: Is there a more serious side to the brand that we may not be aware of?

Patkar: As a brand, we want to talk about periods and femcare in the same way women do. As a result we strive to be realistic and truthful, and never too serious in our communications. One thing we are serious about is the experience girls have with our products, to ensure we help her feel comfortable, safe and protected so there is one less thing to worry about during her period.

Get more branding insights in our Q&A series and follow Penelope Davis on Twitter.


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