The Andrex Puppy: the ultimate brand property
This year sees the 40th anniversary of the Andrex puppy, which has to be one of the strongest if not the strongest of any brand icons. The golden labrador puppy was first introduced in 1972, having been devised by the ad agency JWT. It has helped Andrex gain and retain market share, with a 32% value share in 2010, in the face of intense competition from own label products.
Here's why its such a powerful marketing asset.
1. Consistency to create memory structure
Having stuck with the puppy for 40 years, Andrex has created and reinforced "memory structure": hard-wired brand associations triggered by the brand property. For many people on a busy shopping trip, they pass past the toilet role fixture and buy Andrex on "auto-pilot", triggered by strong brand recognition.
This has been done by featuring the puppy in advertising to communicate the idea of Andrex being "soft, strong and very long". Below is an example of an ad from the 1980's. And the brand is still using this same idea today, as you can see in ad from 2010 here.
2. Combining sausage and sizzle
The Andrex puppy does a great job at communicating both product "Sausage", through being used to demonstrate "soft, strong and long". At the same time, it has a lot of emotional "sizzle" through being soft and cuddly!
3. Activated through the line
The Andrex puppy is a major feature of the packaging of course. But Kimberly Clark have gone much further than this, with other activities including:
– TV advertising (discussed above)
– Strong featuring on the website
– Puppy themes promotional gifts, such as cuddly toys
– "Puppy points" loyalty scheme (with 75,000 members)
The brand has also managed to keep up to date by finding fresh expressions of the brand property. These include fresh advertising executions. And the brand also has a big facebook following with almost 300,000 people liking the Andrex page.
In conclusion, the Andrex puppy is a great example of how creating, amplifying and refreshing a brand property can help you create distinctiveness and trigger positive brand assoiations, playing a key role in gaining and retaining brand leadership.