Barry Hall Says It’s OK To Cry In New Campaign For Kleenex

Barry Hall Says It’s OK To Cry In New Campaign For Kleenex

Former AFL ‘hard man’, Barry Hall, is urging Australians to find their softer sides this winter in a new Kleenex Facial Tissues brand campaign developed by J. Walter Thompson.

Rebecca Tilly
Posted by Rebecca Tilly

Launching this week, the campaign unveils a new, masterbrand positioning for the entire Kleenex Facial Tissues range, and aims to break a common association with illness (particularly in the cold and flu season) and remind Australians that ‘what’s in the box’ matters at all life’s moments.

The TVCs can be viewed here:

To communicate the message and inspire Australians to ‘Soften Up’with Kleenex, ex-AFL champion and notorious hard guy, Barry Hall has been engaged as a hero soft advocate across all campaign executions.

Spearheaded by a series of three TVCs which show Hall unashamedly demonstrating strong emotions in three situations, the campaign also comprises of online video and social content and a large-scale radio partnership, including radio street team activations in Sydney.

“Barry Hall was the perfect Australian tough guy to communicate the new brand point-of-view and make Kleenex Tissues synonymous with emotional softness, not just functional softness. He’s a real life ‘hard nut’ turned soft advocate, giving others permission to give in to their emotions and experience the benefits. ” explained J. Walter Thompson’s ECD, Simon Langley.

Kimberly Clark marketing sector lead, family care Dominique Chandler said the creative approach was driven by research that showed that Australians are a pretty tough bunch, with 71 per cent of us admitting we still hide our emotions.

“While there’s often a taboo around displaying too much emotion, we know from our research that being open can help us lead happier lives,” she explained.

“As our country’s softest tissue, we want to inspire Australians to Soften Up, experiencing how good it feels for themselves, and for everyone it touches. We’re excited about Barry’s role in the campaign and this new position for the brand.”

Other ‘Soften Up’ campaign elements include PR, radio partnerships, brand activations, sampling, shopper, website refresh, and social support on owned channels. Strategy, creative and campaign leadership were all provided by J. Walter Thompson.


Creative Credits:

Kimberly Clark

Dominique Chandler – Marketing Sector Lead, Family Care

Mariam Nouel – Senior Brand Manager

Lilien Chen – Brand Manager


 Agency: J. Walter Thompson Sydney

Simon Langley – Executive Creative Director

Damien Linklater – Senior Copywriter

Chris Searle – Senior Art Director

Ellen Fraser – Broadcast Producer

Celia Garforth – Senior Planner

Milly Hall – Group Account Director

Cat Wealleans – Senior Account Director


Production Company: Fiction Film Company

Director: Jake Robb

Producer: Jackie Fish

Director of Photography: Garry Richards

Offline Edit: Fiction Film Company

Offline Editor: Michael Houlahan

Grade/Online Edit: Method Studios, Sydney

Colourist: Andrew Clarkson

Online Editor: Lee Sandiford

Post Producer: Emily Nelson

Sound Studio: Nylon Studios

Engineer: Simon Lister

Studio Producer: Emma Hodge


J. Walter Thompson is part of STW, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group.