Marketing Code-X

Therapeutic Softness

Image for Therapeutic Softness

The CODE-X series catalogs a vast codex of source codes (aka “signs”) extracted from past audits.

Note that signs on their own, while sometimes interesting, only become truly revelatory and useful once they’re sorted into thematic complexes, and the complexes into codes, and the codes into a meaning map. We call this process “thick description”; the Code-X series is thin description.

THERAPEUTIC SOFTNESS” NORM: Toilet paper softness as a form of therapy — an uplifting pleasure whose connection to hygiene is beside the point.

THERAPEUTIC SOFTNESS” FORMS: Language tonality takes the tone of uplifting exhortations, as though from a life coach. “Stop wiping, start pampering” (Quilted Northern). “Be kind to your behind” (Cottonelle). “Enjoy the go.” (Charmin). Pastel colors here, as elsewhere, signify “therapeutic treatment.”

From a 2015 audit of the Toilet Paper category.

Tags: CODE-X, Personal Care, Toilet Paper