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From The Realm of Things I Do Not Understand: Toilet Paper Adverts

January 5, 2011

What? You expected a dissertation on a classier subject? From me? Have you read me? This isn’t the first time I’ve talked openly about my own personal toilet paper preferences. So it wasn’t a surprise when my friend Annie IM’d me and told me that this is a national issue that I need to address in a post, and I’ll be damned if she’s not spot-freakin’-on. Well I’ll be damned no matter how you look at it, but nevertheless.

American advertisers have been wrestling with the best way to promote the sales of toilet paper since the days of ad men like Darren Stevens and Larry Tate. They have longed to convey that the product is soft yet strong without saying anything specific about what the product does. Charmin’s much beloved character Mr. Whipple was obsessed with keeping women from squeezing the Charmin on the store shelves and went to great lengths to keep housewives at bay.

However, in recent years, this trend towards subtle has dissipated. Sure there’s the loveable Kleenex Cottonelle golden retriever puppy who reminds us that toilet paper is for play and for pampering oneself. I can guarantee you that it’s my toilet paper of choice when I’m looking to TP one of my neighbours’ homes. (One of these days I’m totally going to fly out to Philly and TP and fork my friend Annie’s house for sport.) But not all adverts are puppies and sunshine.

There are some manufacturers who seems to think that we need to talk more about what we’re actually doing with the toilet paper, in case we’re all al little confused on how it works. Frankly, the only item I’ve ever seen in a bathroom I need explained to me is a bidet. Toilet paper is for cleaning and drying your bits after you’ve used the loo. Not rocket science. However, it appears that some people are incapable of doing this without leaving pieces of paper attached to their asses. It’s such a national issue that we need to educate people on TV about it. For the kids we have the cartoon bears from the fine folks at Charmin. Where they illustrate the problem by sticking pieces of paper to the baby bear’s butt and having his mother chase him around trying to wipe them off. Really, just too too adorable. Gah. Seriously. What are you people doing that you’re getting it stuck on your ass?

It is from the fine folks at Quilted Northern, who have for decades been touting the “quilting” in their product’s design using animated women quilting their toilet paper, that we really get our serious lesson in how bad things are on the ass wiping front in America. They are relying heavily on the power of testimonials to instil the seriousness of the issue. Can I get a witness? The graphic on their homepage is a woman with the quote “It gets you clean while helping to keep your hands clean.” I’m sorry? Are most of you incapable of wiping your backside without getting your hands all covered in faeces? Really?

Oh, and if you’re worried about the cleanliness of the public restroom you’re visiting while having problems keeping your hands clean and avoiding having the paper stick to your ass in clumps, there’s an app for finding the best one near you. Of course there is, and it’s sponsored by Charmin. Thoughtful, no? Maybe they should spend more money inventing non-stick toilet paper. Hmmm… Teflon toilet paper. Maybe I’m on to something here.

Oh, and here’s your bonus gift with purchase for reading this post.

You’re welcome.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Annie permalink
    January 5, 2011 5:36 am

    Oh hell. I just wet myself. Too late for toilet paper.

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