Toilet Paper. How do you successfully build an engaging, loyalty-building brand story around that product?
Just ask the ace marketers at Proctor & Gamble and they’ll likely tell you about the 20 free, deluxe Charmin restrooms opened in New York’s Time Square for the 2007 holiday season. At the same location in 2006, the Charmin Holiday rest rooms served more than 420,000 people from 100 countries and all 50 states, so a 2007 encore was in order.
But free, family-friendly restrooms and ample toilet tissue were just one part of the unique, memorable brand story crafted by the Charmin team. First, friendly folks dressed as dancing toilets greeted passersby on the street, inviting them to visit the Charmin Holiday Restrooms nearby. Visitors then took escalators up and wove through a rope line while a legion of smiling hosts wearing Charmin apparel greeted them and upbeat holiday music played in the background. Inside the stalls (serviced by staff after every use), Ultra Strong and Ultra Soft tissue were available and afterwards, guests were asked to vote for their favorite.
Next, guests could jump into one of several winter-wonderland dioramas and have their picture made with the Charmin bear; or guests could go on stage and do the Charmin dance, while their image was captured on flatscreen monitors surrounding the stage. For those holiday-weary guests who simply wanted to rest for a bit, a fireplace and comfortable seating awaited. Bottomline, a lot of unexpected, family-friendly holiday memories were made…all because of a toilet paper brand.
Many people got the message. Besides the brand story ‘told’ in person to the nearly half million Charmin Holiday Restroom visitors during the 2007 season, an impressive 100 traditional media reported on the project followed by a strong wave of social media including Flickr, You Tube, and countless marketing blogs and forums, etc. (Hey, you’re reading another one right now!)
Loyalty Lesson: As fellow Austinite and Brand Autopsy blogger, John Moore, so aptly put it, “This is further evidence…there is no such thing as boring product categories, just boring products!” Make 2008 the year for finding your brand’s story and engaging your customers with it!