Unveiling consumer insights among US Hispanic market. Defining who your competitor is and where is growth for your brand going to come from.

bountry picture

bountry picture

Bounty in the US had been the market leader of the paper towel category for years. As the brand looked at opportunities for growth, the US Hispanic segment was a clear one. Usage of paper towel amongst this group of consumers was low. Many efforts had been conducted to increase usage focusing on a value message driven by performance superiority which had been Bounty’s gold standard in the category. A product initiative called “Select a size” or pre-cut smaller sheets of paper towel was introduced and a marketing campaign among US Hispanic media launched. Despite these efforts, brand penetration among this target group remained the same, no growth. So, the brand group together with market research, set out to conduct in-depth consumer understanding. Who was really our competitor? Private labels? cheaper product? Research revealed that the brand’s biggest competitor was the cleaning cloth or sponge (“Trapito” as consumers call it in Spanish). This led to a whole different approach which enabled Bounty to significantly grow across US Hispanic household. The power of connecting with consumers to a deeper level. Take a look at the case and the corresponding TV add. Enjoy!!

Research Facts:

i.     Hispanics in the US at the time of this research were 12% of the total US population.

ii.     Then the paper towel category is significantly underdeveloped among Hispanics.

iii.     Significant spending trying to increase household penetration had not worked.


In-depth consumer understanding

The objective was to observe the cleaning and shopping journey experience while they perform the activity so we could perceive what they do instead of a more traditional 1in1 interview or focus group where they explain what they do from memory.

a.     In-home visits full day – including time/day consumers cleaned their homes, performed HH shores.

b.     Shop along with consumers

c.      Questioning, observing, going beyond the category. It was important to understand the full shopping and cleaning journey from the moment they think they must buy a product until the moment they go back home. Capture what are the moments of joy, frustrations, important steps, surroundings, habits, and compensatory behaviors.

What did we learn/Insights:

  •  When they migrate from Latin America to the US, consumers tend to remain loyal to the brands and habits from their country of origin.
  •  Most are low income and are very aware of the prices of goods in different shops.
  •   When it comes to reasons for not using paper towels, they claim they don’t like them. When asked why? They claim you are throwing away money every time you use one. While with the sponge/rag you wash/rinse it and it can used over again. There is a significant value issue perception.
  • The above revealed a very fundamental learning:  the source of the volume was not c competitive paper towels but the sponge/rag – to which they had an emotional attachment to. This learning gave us a different competitor (the rag) which required a very different value proposition (benefit/price).
  •   The challenge was to create relevant user occasions to show the superior performance where Bounty would outperform the sponge/rag or do things the sponge couldn’t do.
  •  They are mostly risk avoiders. They cannot afford to try new things that may not work.
  • Family recommendations play a huge role when trying new things.
  •  The key decision maker is the mother or grandmother.
  • When watching them cook a meal, many dishes involved cleaning between steps. Oil is used frequently (frying foods).
  •  We asked their thoughts about the Bounty advertising campaign which typically portrays a kid making a spill and mom coming to the rescue with Bounty and preventing the kid from crying and cleaning the spill. Most of them laughed. Why? Because culturally, if their kid spilled his/her juice or other, he/she would be reprimanded.  This revealed that adding Spanish voice over and placing national TV add in Hispanic TV channel was not relevant.

How did we use these insights?

Developed new claims and demos to show Bounty noticeable advantages vs. using a sponge/rag. The R&D team created a set of claims and demos that could be used in different types of advertisement (TV copy, POP material, shelves) as well as in life events (supermarkets). It was eye opening for consumers to realize the very significant advantages to clean surfaces, time saved, odor control and absorption that Bounty paper towels delivered against the value brand paper towels and rags.

The marketing team used different visuals and actions performed during advertisement development reflecting the Hispanic culture including the mother centricity behavior and different foods.


Success. The Bounty “Like a paper sponge” marketing campaign was implemented delivering significant volume and value share gains. Bounty napkins were launched shortly after using similar insights.


Mabe Rodriguez