Topic: Using children’s stories to inspire brand communication


Essity, a paper company (bathroom tissue, kitchen roll, hankies) had developed ‘The Village’, a global comms platform for all product lines, based around a story around a child and a forest creature, loosely inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. The campaign communicated rationally but was failing to connect emotionally. The task was to both increase engagement into ads while also increasing the brand’s association with cleanliness and hygiene. The two aspects of this project demanded two methods: we did online ethnography around the meanings of Hygiene (in Russia and France) combined with a semiotic analysis of 20 Children’s film. Ultimately, we develop semiotic models for both Hygiene and Storytelling which we overlayed to unlock the Village Campaign. The client understood that cleanliness is a bigger idea than Hygiene and that the higher order moral connotations of ‘sharing and caring’ are not only consonant with Hygiene but tap into more powerful expressions of the same fundamental drives around maternal love. The research was very well received by both client and agency who went on to use the insights in creative development.