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Brand X: Mild Kingdom

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Brand: Pampers
Agency: D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (NY)
Creative Director: Arlene Jaffe

Pampers is a great product that also happens to be a . . . shitty product. But never mind the soiled subtext -- Pampers' new TV spot dispenses entirely with human babies and instead features adorable shots of wild animals. A tiger cub nestles between its mother's paws, a pony chases behind its parents, a mama otter affectionately nuzzles -- well, you get the idea. But in case you don't, there's the swelling soundtrack: Rod Stewart's "Forever Young." Nowhere are there any diapers in sight, and upon first viewing, it's easy enough to think that maybe you've sat on the remote control and accidentally switched to Animal Planet. But there, right at the end, is the payoff tag line: "We're right behind you. Pampers. Every step of the way." (Right behind you?) Turns out Procter & Gamble isn't just out to goose its market share (37 percent of the $4 billion diaper market, versus Kimberly-Clark's 44 percent). The Cincinnati-based packaged-goods giant has announced plans to license the Pampers name for a new line of infant- and children's-wear, which makes this soft-focus image campaign suddenly seem much more strategic. If motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson can clear millions in pure profit by licensing its name to apparel companies, why can't a maker of disposable crap sacks do the same? If you can forget for a moment that animals don't wear diapers -- or clothing -- this campaign makes perfect sense.


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