Kimberly-Clark's Poise Fires Yet Another Shot at P&G's Always Discreet - Updated October 9

KMB claiming Poise is 3X's drier than Always
As predicted, P&G (#PG), re-entered  the incontinence category, this time under the brand, Always Discreet

The day before the introduction, Kimberly-Clark (#KMB) preemptively released another version of their Poise, 'I've got SAM in my pants' commercials.  Now they've added the claim that not only is it 'crazy thin' (a claim that P&G may make about Always Discreet), but Poise is three times drier than Always.  The words: 'vs. Always incredibly thin liners' are superimposed.  This same message was repeated in a Sunday coupon insert on August 17.  The claim is a bit disingenuous because its comparing apples to oranges - comparing the performance of a much less costly Always pad for feminine care use to a much more expensive Poise pad with super absorbent.

Here is the spot on YouTube.

Poise is 'crazy thin' and 3 times drier than Always
Sunday coupon ad that ran Aug 17, 2014 with a per-emptive claim

While this comparison is made versus an Always period liner, not new Always Discreet pads for incontinence, much of that nuance may be lost on consumers.  Moreover, the edginess of 'I've got SAM in my pants' is working to grow share, notwithstanding the fact the some consumers find it offensive.  We've had calls to The CareGiver Partnership from consumers taking it out on us for representing the Poise brand.

P&G has recently responded by modifying this spot which compares Always to the 'leading brand.  It now makes a direct comparison to Poise and they show the Poise package on screen.  

Introduction of Game Changing Poise Impressa
Stops leaks at the source, rather than absobing them.

The most effective strategy of competing against P&G is to out innovate the.

Kimberly-Clark has a successful track record of doing this with Huggies baby diapers and wipes, Depend and Poise, Pull-Ups training pants, Goodnites and Little Swimmers.

Following this strategy, K-C pulled out their trump card soon  after P&G introduced Always Discreet by announcing Poise Impressa - a game changing new to the world product form which prevents leaks rather than absorbing them.  This inherently makes Always Discreet look ordinary and old fashioned.

We think these competitive tactics by Kimberly-Clark are smart because they:
  • Take some wind out of P&G's news.
  • Help cement the notion that Poise is superior to Always and Always Discreet.
  • Demonstrate Kimberly-Clark's ability to innovate and to aggressively defend its market share.
  • Position Always as 'ordinary' and inferior to the Poise brand.
  • Help reassure the investment community that KMB can effectively compete against P&G in this category.  There is quite a long track record with Huggies diapers, Depend, Poise, Pull-Ups, Goodnites and Little Swimmers, not to mention Kleenex and others.
Further cause for concern about TENA as a viable brand in the U.S.
The combination of P&G's re-introduction into the incontinence category coupled with the significant marketing KMB's is putting forward to defend its share position bode poorly for the TENA brand in the U.S.  They need some big news right away.  The TENA twist isn't going to suffice.  With the recent announcement of Poise Impressa, it makes this even more urgent.  As of October 2014, you can't even find TENA in some retail stores.  This situation is likely to get worse.

Further Reading 
Poise Impressa (Pessary).  The Next Frontier in Stress Urinary Incontinence for Bladder Control.
P&G Formally Announces The Re-Entry Into The Incontinence Category
Pessaries.  P&G & K-C's Next Incontinence Frontier?

Having competed against P&G since 1974 across a wide range of categories including detergents, cleansers/cleaners, bar soap, dish liquid, baby diapers, pull-ups, adult diapers, and feminine care, this  introduction by P&G's will be very interesting to watch.  I've seen some big ones including Pringles, Bounce, Always and Olean.  Two of those didn't pan out. 

By Tom Wilson, Co-Founder and President of The CareGiver Partnership.  You can reach me at or at 920-886-8162.


Anonymous said...

Has this been updated since the release of the new Poise Impressa?

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