Kleenex: The Saga of a Super Brand

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG198 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Marketing Management/ Brand Management/ Greenwashing
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 2006-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Tourism Australia
Industry : Consumer Packaged Goods
Countries : Europe/USA


Consumer packaged goods major, Kimberly-Clark Corporation (Kimberly), had, over the years, made Kleenex a super brand. The brand identity was so strong that it had become a generic term for tissue paper, requiring the company to use 'Kleenex brand' to refer to its product. With the sales for the category shrinking since 2001, Kimberly decided in 2006 to rejuvenate the Kleenex brand. In late 2006, the 'Let it Out' campaign was launched. The case discusses the 'Let it Out' campaign in detail. It also discusses the criticisms against Kimberly by environmental activist organizations who accuse it of greenwashing. Greenpeace spoofed the 'Let It Out' campaign and in 2007, some Greenpeace activists also highjacked an advertising shoot of the campaign.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies


Understand how Kimberly succeeded in establishing Kleenex as a super brand and made it synonymous for facial tissue products.

Understand the challenges faced by brands whose brand names have become synonymous with the generic term for the product.

Analyze the 'Let It Out' advertising campaign that sought to rejuvenate the Kleenex brand.

Understand the criticism faced by Kimberly regarding the environmental impact of its products such as Kleenex and the dilemma faced by Kimberly in balancing the product quality and minimizing environmental impact.


  Page No.
Winner's Curse? 1
Background Note 2
The Kleenex Brand 4
'Let it Out' Campaign 6
The Results of the Campaign 7
Criticism and the Kleercut Campaign 8
A Bunch of Lies? 10
Outlook 11
Exhibits 12


Brand strategy, Super brand, Brand identity, Promotional strategies, Advertising, Advertising strategy, Emotional appeal, Low-involvement product, Consumer research, Search engine marketing, Viral marketing, Environmental impact, Greenwashing, 'Let It Out' campaign, Kleenex, Kimberly-Clark

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