May 1, 2009

Huggies Pure & Natural Hypoallergenic Latex-Free Organic Cotton Huggies Brand Initial Steps Toward Environmental Improvements!


I was one of two finalists to give the student address for my business school commencement. My speech was a hilarious [obviously] reminder that we'd be more effective business leaders if we learn to avoid knuckleheaded jargon and "speak the language" of the people we would work with. Obviously I didn't learn jack, because the whole point of business school was apparently to inculcate you with buzzwords and esoteric managementspeak, which you barrage your clients and colleagues with in exchange for inordinate sums of money. The commencement committee picked the other guy, whose speech was literally about Steven R. Covey and his Seven Habits of Highly whatever.

Like plastic flotsam tossed off the back of a cruise ship, this b-school vocabulary thing washed ashore on the Caribbean beach of my mind when I read the press release introducing Huggies Pure & Natural diapers. Instead of sodium polyacrylate, they're made from recycled buzzwords. Just try and diagram that first sentence, and see if it doesn't end up looking like a pile of flash cards on a focus group table:

Kimberly-Clark Corporation today announced the launch of Huggies Pure & Natural diapers, a super premium diaper that includes natural, organic materials and ingredients to provide gentle protection for new babies, as well as initial steps toward environmental improvements, without sacrificing performance.

The new Huggies Pure & Natural diaper is hypoallergenic, latex and fragrance free and features a breathable outer cover that includes organic cotton. The liner includes natural Aloe & Vitamin E and materials from renewable sources, and the product's outer packaging is sourced from 20 percent post-consumer recycled materials.

Every phrase is loaded to the point of blowout: "includes," not "made from"; "initial steps toward environmental improvements," not "finally, good for the environment."
K-C expects the Huggies Pure & Natural diapers will help the brand build inroads with those moms who are most interested in products that include natural materials to provide the best care for their babies. According to a K-C consumer research study, the moms surveyed expressed a strong interest in purchasing Huggies brand diapers that included organic and natural materials.

"The new Huggies Pure & Natural diaper is designed for moms who desire to provide their babies the best and most gentle care without sacrificing comfort and protection, while using a product that includes organic and natural materials," said Robert Thibault, president of Kimberly-Clark's North American Infant, Baby & Child Care business. "This innovative Huggies brand diaper offers delicate protection for baby, along with the increased use of renewable materials, ushering into the category a new disposable diaper that delivers the utmost in performance and care along with steps toward environmental improvements."

Fantastic. It's always "Huggies brand," never just "Huggies." "Nathan needs some Huggies brand diapers."

For all the their ambiguously green features, the one promise TreeHuggies deliver on is "super premium": they cost 30-40% more than regular Huggies. But isn't it worth it to be able to feel like you're doing something that helps the environment and your kid and stuff? Or as Toys R Us puts it so eloquently, "You will feel good about suing Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers."

Kimberly-Clark Launches Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers; New Super Premium Diaper Provides Exceptional Gentle Care for Babies [, thanks dt reader carolyn]
Buy Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers, currently $44 for a double pack [amazon]
Previously: Malcolm Gladwell's 2001 article on diapers is chock full of diaper industry lingo


suing. a glimpse into the future, perhaps?

So... are we really past the point where it even needs to be pointed out that Huggies is (scuse me, Huggies BRAND) is targeting moms and prolonging the stereotype of diaper-avoiding dads? The day "dads" becomes a marketing buzzword I'll eat my organic, phthalate-free hat.

Are these still compatible with my diaper genie? Because I'm not interested unless I can wrap them up in an airtight plastic bag, before depositing them in the landfill.

I wanted to mention the Huggies Brand rewards program announcement tacked onto the end of the press release, but I thought it'd get too long. This quote is pure mom marketing gold:

"During these uncertain economic times, providing moms access to a rewards program that enables them to have fun, talk to each other, and share their opinions, while accumulating points and redeeming them for a chance to win fabulous prizes, is a win-win for both moms and the Huggies brand," said Jeff Dawson, vice president of the Huggies brand. "The Enjoy the Ride Rewards program is designed to establish a strong relationship with moms as they begin their journey through motherhood - ultimately creating Huggies advocates, and thus loyal users of Huggies branded products."

For some reason it's the word "includes" that just kills me. It's 99.9998% total crap, but that 0.0002% organic cotton acts as a protective shield for your baby, and will save the environment to boot! cynical bastards. I'm sure they'll be a big success.

also, that rewards program gives me the willies.

Ahaha, maybe you dads are lucky after all, you won't be assimilated. Resistance is fut--halp!

This is almost as good as the shampoo add I saw that said "Over 90% natural ingredients!" because, you know, WATER is a natural ingredient. Basically it meant "hey look! we watered down the bad stuff!"

I work at a business school and I've heard the students joke that, in order to name their courses, faculty members just put buzzwords into a bag and pull them out one-by-one.

(Sorry - hit submit too soon.)

It seems that K-C is doing the same thing with their press releases!

You get 132 Huggies diapers for $44, or you can get 176 diapers from Seventh Generation for $47 on Amazon. Does it say anywhere whether the Huggies are chlorine-free?

i think an amazon commenter mentions it, but the press release doesn't. It's the one buzzword they left out, which is telling.

I saw that on Amazon, too, so I checked the Huggies site, but where it tells me to "roll over to learn more", I get a popup cartoon-y graphic with the same word that I'm rolling over (helpful!). The only extra bit of information that appears is that the organic cotton is "included in the outer cover". There's that "included" word again, and against the baby's skin is where I most want to see natural, non-toxic materials; I'm not so worried about the outer cover. Obviously a really disappointing marketing ploy to charge extra for diapers that aren't even close to "green".

At last! Someone finally makes a diaper free of hypoallergens.

I want to kick Robert Thibault SO HARD up the arse that my foot is itching.

The corporate heads of disposable diaper companies are right up there with the execs of cigarette companies and the fact that these diapers aren't any more biodegradable than any other landfill bound diaper makes me cry for the future of my 9 mo. twins. What a joke.

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