My Least Favorite Ad Campaign

8 Aug

I’ve written about how disgusting the human body and all its various byproducts are, but apparently none of my tens of readers are head of marketing at certain giant global corporation that makes a certain brand of toilet paper that I refuse, absolutely refuse to mention by name, because there’s no such thing as bad publicity and if I don’t say their name, then I’m not publicizing, but OH MY GOD their new ad campaign.

The ads with the bears have always made me a little uncomfortable. Hey, we can’t show people taking a shit on television, let’s show cartoon bears. Oh, isn’t it cute. That little one has toilet paper still clinging to it’s still sticky ass. Adorable. Shitting bears with cling-ons are ADORABLE.

I’m not sure if the environmental activists started a letter writing campaign to the folks at the giant corporation about how maybe it’s not appropriate to show the bears shitting into the woods and then discarding their used toilet paper, at least the toilet paper that’s not still stuck to their sticky little asses, wherever the hell they want to, or if maybe the bears were just lying low waiting for the housing market to officially bottom out, so they could make their move with the lowest interest rates possible, but something has happened to get these bears into some proper housing, presumably with flush toilets. I can’t say for certain that the toilets flush, though. That’s never shown during the new commercial. Maybe they have an “if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down policy.” Since we’re left hanging like a dingleberry at the end of the commercial with papa bear heading into the john with a newspaper, maybe it’s meant to set us up for a subsequent installment. A little shitting bear soap opera, if you will.

Jen and I were sitting at our new dining room table streaming last night’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In between acts 2 and 3, right before the guest, an Afghani woman who’s got a book out about how shitty it is to be an Afghani woman, we’re shown the new shitting bears commercial. Through the first two-thirds of the commercial, the little girl bear is sitting on the commode rubbing her face all over the same toilet papers she’s getting ready to wipe her bear bits with. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m not opposed to unused toilet paper coming in contact with faces. My objection is to seeing her on the toilet for 20 seconds. Yes, I should lighten up. No, I’m not going to. As the girl is finally leaving the bathroom, dad walks up with his newspaper and the girl is like, “Shit all you want, Dad. There’s plenty of toilet paper in there for you. Here, better take the plunger.” That’s a paraphrase, but I feel like I’ve gotten to the heart of the plot. So then we get to the voiceover part. The part in the commercial where we get the tagline. That thing that’s supposed to get triggered in our little pea brains the next time we’re stalking toilet paper at the grocery store. That tagline is this. “We all go. Why not enjoy the go?” I’m sorry, but no. Let me quickly take care of the grammar first, even though it’s not the thing I find most offensive. I don’t think “go” as in “the go” is ever a noun. I hate it when someone in creative butchers the English language, and then get’s to hide behind their butchery by being all, “Yeah, I did that on purpose. It’s a stylistic choice, because nothing sells the stuff you wipe your ass with like poor grammar.” Or whatever it is they say.

But really? “…enjoy the go?” Every time I think the phrase, I shake my head in disbelief, but you can’t see that, which is why I have to write this. I can’t wait ’til this takes off and people all over the country are like, “Man, I LOVE going to the bathroom,” or, “You know, I really used to prefer shitting, but now I just can’t get enough of peeing. I mean–I think that’s a really undervalued body function. In fact, I love peeing so much, I think I’ll do it right now. No, that’s okay. You don’t need to leave.” I dream of living in a place where people love “THE GO” so much that they’ll just do it anywhere. We don’t need to be shy. Everyone does it. Why not just do it walking down the street? Or while you’re waiting in line for your Starbucks every morning? Or, if the urge strikes, in the middle of your husband’s funeral? “What’s that smell?” “Oh, that’s just me. I promised Carl I’d enjoy the go even after he left me. He made me swear I’d go on living my life, enjoying the go.”

This brings me to another logistical sticky wicket. The toilet paper itself has nothing to do with the actual act of going to the bathroom. I’m sitting on my couch right now. The closest roll of toilet paper is 15 feet away. I don’t have to get up and go where the toilet paper is in order to relax the ol’ bladder. Sure, Jen would be unhappy with me if I pissed on the couch (unless I did so while having a seizure, she’s got very specific ideas about where a person should go to the bathroom, but she’s not heartless), but you know, whatever.

I went to the company’s website, which I will not link to from here, just to make sure I had all the facts I needed to write this, and it turns out I didn’t. There’s a whole flashy situation happening over at (almost put generic x’s, but realized that the situation happening at that site would probably be WAY flashier than the one for the toilet paper). There’s a special video for the the new campaign that doesn’t have shitting bears. It’s just one of those things that’s popular right now where they’ll have a phrase that will animate into another phrase and so on and so forth. Some of the concepts they use to prove to you, in case you don’t, that everyone (except, apparently, you) goes are, “after coffee,” “whew that curry was hot,” “we spend A LOT of time going.” Wait, I’m going to stop you right there. Show of hands for people who would say they spend “A LOT” of time in any given day actively excreting waste. Let’s say a total of more than, fuck, I don’t know, 10 minutes a day with something that would require you to be in a bathroom actively coming out of your body? Anyone? I would like to direct the people who giant corporation seem to have in mind, those of you who spend hours a day with waste fleeing your bodies, to either a urologist or a gastroenterologist, whichever is appropriate. I’m not saying people don’t hang out in there just for funzies, because, let’s be honest, bathrooms are fun. I’m saying no one actually spends “A LOT” of time “the going.”

You know, I work at an advertising agency. I don’t work on the creative side, so maybe my creative brain isn’t big enough to understand the brilliance and effectiveness of this campaign. I’m sure I’m just a prude. These bears have been around for a long time now, and I’m sure Giant Corporation would have moved onto something else now if there weren’t sales figures and market research to support their use. No, what I do at my ad agency is digital black box testing. That’s a fancy way of saying that when computer programmers build things like websites, I touch every consumer facing part of that website and make sure the shit works. So, allow me to at least give one professional bit of advice for the good people at Giant Corporation about the website for their new campaign. There’s a link to the “Sit or Squat” app in the footer that leads to a 404 error. Your site doesn’t work for shit with JavaScript disabled, but there’s nothing there telling the user that they’ll need to enable JavaScript if they want to “enjoy the site.” You reported revenues of $82,550,000.00 (eighty-two billion, five hundred fifty million dollars) last year. Fix your shit.

This reminds me of the time...

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