1st generation | 2nd generation

Chuck Norris | Tom Selleck

The original Brawny Man was based on Paul Bunyan. I remember the older commercials where he was a larger than life character. He looked like a cross between Chuck Norris and Tom Selleck (stars of the 80’s). The third “Brawny” from the 90’s (not pictured) had a longer haircut. The only similarity between the new one and the old ones is the shirt. Perhaps an upgrade was due, but Paul Bunyan has been wasted for any other brand wanting to use him.

It would be a mistake for a brand to make such a drastic change without doing research and testing. So I think this one of those situations where the brand ditched its initial offering in favor of what the people (women) wanted. Paul Bunyan appeals to men because of his manliness and his legendary exploits. However, men in general can’t be sold on convenience with this type of product. So Brawny made the shift in personality a long time ago, but its visual has only caught up recently.

The benefit copy reads, “Quality * Strength * Durability.” Brawny’s position is that it offers women everything (fundamental) they’d want in a man, but in a paper towel. It’s all in the mind. Functional benefits are negligible so paper towel brands have to sell personality. How does the brand make the consumer feel? Overall, Brawny appeals to security. Check out the new spot (Lean on Me).

Millenium Brawny Man

Lou Ferrigno? Brawny went from Paul Bunyan to The Hulk.