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Willing to drop your pants for Underwareness?

Kimberly-Clark encourages a bit of exhibitionism to kill stigma

In an effort to squash the stigma surrounding incontinence, Kimberly-Clark’s Depend brand of incontinence products has launched “Underwareness” its biggest national campaign to date.

The campaign (which also promotes the “Real Fit” and “Silhouette” product lines) kicked off Wednesday in Toronto with “Drop Your Pants for Underwareness.” The PR event saw the brand showcase a live billboard featuring male and female models that had literally dropped their pants, revealing their Depend underwear underneath.

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According to Nadia Said, senior brand manager, adult care at Depend, 10% of the Canadian population deals with incontinence, but the topic is not widely discussed due to embarrassment.

The campaign aims to dispel a few key misconceptions about Depend – that they look and fit like bulky diapers, and only the elderly use them.

Said, who called the campaign “a social movement and charitable cause inviting people to drop their pants in support of the millions who live with bladder leakage everyday,” said the brand is committed to change the conversation around the issue.

“There are 3.3 million Canadians who live with bladder leakage everyday and what most people don’t know is that over half of these consumers are under the age of 55,” said Said. “So there’s a stigma that we’re trying to break down that the Depend brand is for someone who’s 80 years old. Those with bladder leakage problems might have them because they had a surgery below the waist. Women after childbirth use our products and men who have had prostrate cancer during treatment. So it’s all kinds of consumers from different walks of life that use our products.”

Depend worked with Ogilvy & Mather on creative for the campaign, and elements include TV, print and out-of-home, digital and social (the same campaign is running in the U.S. with the only variations in the PR events, Said said).

All creative drives consumers to Underwareness.com where people are encouraged to “Drop Your Pants.”

For every message, photo or video that is tagged online using #Underwareness or #DropYourPants, Depend will donate one dollar to the Simon Foundation for Continence and the United Way Worldwide (up to a total of $3 million).

“Underwareness” will run until the end of November. Depend chose Ketchum for PR, and Mindshare handled the media buy. The brand also worked with activation agency Geometry (formally OgilvyAction) on the shopper marketing front.

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