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Hard Man Says ‘Soften Up’ in New JWT Kleenex Ads

J. Walter Thompson APAC, 2 years, 5 months ago

One of Australia’s toughest men – Barry Hall – is urging Australians to find their softer sides this winter, in a new Kleenex Facial Tissues brand campaign

Hard Man Says ‘Soften Up’ in New JWT Kleenex Ads

Launching this week, the campaign unveils a new, masterbrand positioning for the entire Kleenex Facial Tissues range, and aims to break a common association with illness (particularly in the cold and flu season) and remind Australians that ‘what’s in the box’ matters at all life’s moments.

To communicate the message and inspire Australians to ‘Soften Up’ with Kleenex, ex-AFL champion and notorious hard guy, Barry Hall has been engaged as a hero soft advocate across all campaign executions. 

Spearheaded by a series of three TVCs which show Hall unashamedly demonstrating strong emotions in three situations, the campaign also comprises of online video and social content and a large-scale radio partnership, including radio street team activations in Sydney. 

“Barry Hall was the perfect Australian tough guy to communicate the new brand point-of-view and make Kleenex Tissues synonymous with emotional softness, not just functional softness. He’s a real life ‘hard nut’ turned soft advocate, giving others permission to give in to their emotions and experience the benefits. ” explained J. Walter Thompson’s ECD, Simon Langley.

Kimberly Clark Marketing Sector Lead, Family Care Dominique Chandler said the creative approach was driven by research that showed that Australians are a pretty tough bunch, with 71% of us admitting we still hide our emotions.

“While there’s often a taboo around displaying too much emotion, we know from our research that being open can help us lead happier lives,” she explained.

“As our country’s softest tissue, we want to inspire Australians to Soften Up, experiencing how good it feels for themselves, and for everyone it touches. We’re excited about Barry’s role in the campaign and this new position for the brand.”

Other ‘Soften Up’ campaign elements include PR, Radio partnerships, brand activations, sampling, shopper, website refresh, and social support on owned channels.  Strategy, creative and campaign leadership were all provided by J. Walter Thompson.


Advertiser: Kimberly Clark

Brand Manager: Lilien Chen

Marketing Manager: Dominique Chandler

Senior Brand Manager : Mariam Nouel

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: J. Walter Thompson Sydney

Executive Creative Director: Simon Langley

Group Account Director: Milly Hall

Producer: Ellen Fraser

Senior Account Director: Cat Wealleans

Senior Art Director: Chris Searle

Senior Copywriter: Damien Linklater

Senior Planner: Celia Garforth

Music and Sound

Producer: Emma Hodge

Sound Engineer: Simon Lister

Sound Production: Nylon Studios


Online Editor: Lee Sandiford

Post Production / VFX

Colourist: Andrew Clarkson

Post Production House: Method Studios, Sydney

Producer: Emily Nelson

Production Company

Director: Jake Robb

DOP: Garry Richards

Producer: Jackie Fish

Production Designer: Fiction Film Company

Genre: Comedy , Storytelling