Kleenex Hopes to Tap Olympic Emotions Online

Hoping to be the brand of choice for handling tears of joy or sorrow sparked by Olympic performances, Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex brand is launching a trio of Web sites as part of its sponsorship of the games.

The most elaborate site will leverage Kleenex’ relationships with three of the Olympic athletes’ mothers, featuring family photos, videos and daily online diaries that describe the journey to the games and the emotional character of the competition. U.S. bobsledder Vonetta Flowers and her mother, Bobbie Jeffery; U.S. speed skater Elli Ochowicz and her mother, Sheila Young-Ochowicz; and U.S. hockey forward Kelly Stephens and her mother, Kristine Stephens, will participate in the site.

“They’re not going to be ‘covering’ the games, but what we’d like them to do is give a ‘mom’s eye view’ of behind the scenes at the games,” Rob Clendening, associate brand manager for Kleenex, told ClickZ News. “There will be photos and video and that type of thing from their virtual scrapbook about all of the practices and late night meals, and all of the things that go into getting to the Olympics.”

An interactive component allows site visitors, which Kleenex expects to be mothers themselves, to email the Olympic moms and ask questions about raising athletes. That site, at nbcolympics.com/moms, which is being developed in conjunction with the NBCOlympics.com site, isn’t yet live.

Though Kleenex doesn’t plan to do any advertising on the site, it’s weaving mentions of it through its public relations effort. The hope is any time an athlete is interviewed, she’ll mention the site. Ketchum Public Relations is working with Kleenex on this initiative.

A second site, at kleenexmoments.com, promotes a sweepstakes called “No 1 Fan for Life.” On that site, consumers submit stories about someone who has been an unflinching supporter. Each week, starting next week and continuing through the end of February, Kleenex will select 10 finalists to win prizes.

The third site, USGoldGame.com, hosts a sweepstakes that’s being promoted on 30 million packages of Kimberly-Clark products. People can enter in a product code from the packaging for a chance to win prizes. On that site, visitors have the opportunity to opt-in for email messages from the Kleenex, Scott, Viva and Cottonelle brands.

Promotions agency ePrize is managing the two sweepstakes sites.

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