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Cushelle's koala shows power of a cuddly mascot

Andrex tissues and its loveable Labrador retriever puppy have shown up in ads since 1972. Kittensoft looks to kittens to help seduce consumers.

But Swedish toilet tissue maker SCA goes Down Under for what embodies its brand - the Cushelle koala bear (below). SCA Ireland's marketing manager Ailish Walsh says Cushelle's Aussie icon has a new role.

Speaking at a media briefing in the Dylan Hotel, Walsh said the Cushelle koala now features on cinema screens, in ads aimed at kids and young parents.

Research shows cinema is the top leisure choice for 7-14 year olds. 87pc of them watch movies with an adult. The 'Soft World' cinema ad sees the koala starring in his own computer game.

The bear softens any spikey objects he meets by giving them a whoosh of warm air. Cushelle has a 10.5pc share of Ireland's €107m toilet tissue market. Most Irish people buy 162 toilet rolls a year. SCA also owns Plenty kitchen towel, with ads fronted by Spanish dancer Juan Sheet. Kantar Worldpanel gives Plenty a 23pc share of the €33m grocery market.

SCA hired gardener Diarmuid Gavin to voice the Velvet radio ads. Gavin hammers home Velvet's 'Three Trees Promise' which vows that for every tree cut down to make toilet paper SCA plants three new ones. Over 4 million trees were planted in deforested parts of the Amazon.

SCA also sponsors the only all-female crew competing in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Backing Team SCA makes sense as women account for 80pc of SCA sales. ZenithOptimedia handles SCA's media buying.

Michael Cullen is editor of marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie