Friday, October 19, 2007

Kleenex says


Oh, Kleenex. How well I thought I knew you! Even as a very young child, I counted how many boxes of you I could go through, how I could (when the gros rhumes et allergies, as you so Frenchily put it on your box bottom, struck) fill a garbage bag and pretend I was Santa. Never did I think about calling you tissues. Never! You were always the only brand for me, Kleenex. Puffs be damned. Generics be damned. You were the one who said "Bless you" to me. Even now, I often go to sleep with you, clutching your softness in my sweaty hand (and scattering you, moist and full, around the bed throughout the night.)

And I'm totally down with your new look. I like your Expressions Oval Tissues that allow me to "Express Your [My] Style." I am astonished by your "My Kleenex" campaign that allows me to design my very own tissue box. http://www.mykleenextissue.com/ I can insert photos, frames, and clip art. I can add text! This is not my mother's Kleenex. That's the message you're sending. I hear it, Kleenex, loud and clear.

However, for a hard core user like me, these wimpy little boxes don't go the distance. I recognize that you have to appeal to a wider crowd than me, Kleenex. I know that I am not your only customer. But let me remind you that I am your best customer, if I may humbly say so. I buy you in bulk, for every room in the house. I grab handfuls of you on the way out the door. I am a profligate consumer and, as I live in Too Hot Here, I will probably continue to need your ever-loving care for years to come.

So I'd like to ask a few favors. First, if you want me to be able to express my style, let me do so in jumbo size. Because, frankly, your jumbo Kleenexes look like something out of Woman's Day magazine in 1983. (See above.) You know what I mean. Really, Kleenex, I expect more from you. And, um, what do you have to say about the creepy intergalactic Japanese flowers on your boxes? Who let you get away with that? And why are they EVERYWHERE? (Except your website?)

Finally, I'll just pose a few weensy questions for you to think about. How's that "Let it Out Campaign" working for you? You know, the one where you position yourself sweetly on a little coffee table in front of a bright blue couch, and a sympathetic bald dude asks passersby to spill their goddamn guts. The one where you say, "Are people ready to let it out?" and your response is yes! because "Turns out all it takes is a good listener. And Kleenex TM tissues." http://www.kleenex.com/lio/USA/about/index.aspx
You're good with the heartstrings thing, Kleenex. Really good.

But I ask you: "Why should those of us that live lives of quiet desperation come to you for comfort? Who are you? And is your homepage really the best page to give people serious advice about eating disorders?" Actual quote: "I want to let out the misery of suffereing (sic) with an eating disorder that no one seems to want to help me with, for 10 years. It will kill me, I know it." [Insert uncomfortable pause.] Unless I'm missing something and you've decided to go into the altruism business, the point of your website is to sell more you, n'est-ce pas?

Oh, I get it. The disorder lady will, with the help of the Kleenex Kommunity, learn to love herself (and steak & eggs with a side of buttery grits), but the viewing public will get to experience her sorrow again and again on your website, crying buckets each time, and reaching for Trusty You.

Kleenex: is that the best way? Kleenex: is that the right way?

It's not just eating disorders that you're dealing with either. Some other tags sure to inspire weepification include "jinx, crushed, lonliness (sic), failin, and Reality." Pretty heavy stuff, Kleenex. Are you sure you're ready to take this on? Isn't the common cold keeping you busy enough? Do you have to go into Misery Marketing to meet your quota?

I guess you do. And I'm sure it works.

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3 Comments:

Blogger susan said...

Love your writing. Do you ever use travel packs for tissues? I know where to get cute covers for them that could be personalized just for you.

2:12 AM  
Blogger betsytacy said...

Ooh! Where? I have been yearning for one of those pillow cases that has a pocket for Kleenexes, but I don't think they make them any more.

5:30 PM  
Blogger susan said...

Either could be made for you BT!

6:17 PM  

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