11/03/2005

Let's Run It Up the Flagpole and See Who Salutes

As 80's entertainment dynamo Mr. T would say: "I pity the advertising fool that landed the Charmin Fresh Mates account". It was only a matter of time before some brainstorming session at P&G produced the bright idea of adult baby wipes. (Trying to increase total lifetime value of the customer and all.)

Naturally, the television campaign would need to leverage that hot bear-in-the-woods brand.



But of course, the bears have spent years extolling the virtues of toilet paper, so they couldn't very well just come out and tell us they'd been fooling us all this time with an inferior product (especially since they don't talk).

What to do? What to do?

Then Brady came up with the idea of another friendly woodland creature introducing the wipes to the bears. After several focus groups, the team settled on a duck.





NOTE: Since the real Charmin duck has yet to grace the internet with his presence, we had to use a stand-in.

Unfortunately, the initial versions of the commercial didn't test well. People who had spent all of their lives wiping their posteriors with soft paper tissue needed more than a duck and a bear to change that habit. Showing actual Klingons flying around Uranus was out of the question, but how could the spot demonstrate the superior cleaning power of the wipes? The team struggled for weeks, and then the answer came as if by Providence.

Silberberg was playing with a new toothpaste dispenser in an adjoining cubicle when he accidentally squashed it and smeared the stuff all over the back of his hand. He started rummaging around for something to clean it off. A handy Kleenex did a poor job, but when Laves handed him one of the wipes - VOILA! - a clean, fresh smelling hand! A bright light appeared over the cube, accompanied by an angel choir, a light bulb went on, and the problem was solved!!

Unfortunately, the concept didn't translate perfectly to a 30-second spot. A family member watching the commercial the other night remarked that the real message of the spot is: Never smear toothpaste on your ass if all you have around is toilet paper!




They should have gone with the bidet-in-a-box concept.



posted by Mike at 12:33 AM


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