What should we make of JWT’s new £15m television push for Andrex – featuring the first makeover of the puppy icon since its introduction in 1972?
It’s cute for sure, but I sense mounting desperation at Kimberly-Clark, which owns the brand. The trouble with icons is they become a creative cross to bear once they have outlived their initial usefulness. And the Andrex puppy is now getting very long in the tooth indeed.
Digitalising him, and her, gives the dog a contemporary Pixar feel, but fails to move the brand on. Andrex is already UK brand leader in toilet paper – about the eighth biggest packaged goods brand in the UK and worth over £350m, if memory serves me. But the market is all but flat and lacks significant innovation. The only way forward is premium-product variants such as Shea Butter, introduced last year.
The trouble is, axing the puppy would bring out the crazies. Much better to euthanise him gently in the saccharine world of CGI animation. Rumours of his death, however, may turn out to be exaggerated – and not for the first time as this historic Marketing Week article shows.