Saturday, February 18, 2012

What's Lint Got to Do With It?

It's been way too long since I've posted a Notion! I started Natasha's Notion when I was job hunting. When I landed a gig in Chicago I guess I sold out and didn't put the time in to keeping this up. So to all my fans (about 3 of you)... I'm back...

OK here we go- I thought it was a phase but it doesn't seem to be going away. To get straight to the point… What's with the whole "chunks of toilet paper stuck to your butt" campaign that Charmin keeps running?! Bluntly- that ad is not cute. What if those cartoon bears were real human bums with cotton flakes all over them? Vulgar in real life as well as the world of cuddly Charmin animation.

One of my fellow bloggers, Ross Bynum, approached me with writing a Notion about this, and as soon as I saw the commercial on TV again I was convinced and reminded of how disturbing this creative initiative was! If I recall correctly, didn't this campaign start with a kind of "GoldieLocks" theme- 3 bears: Momma, Poppa, Baby- Charmin is "just right" kind of motif. Pardon me, but since when did GoldieLocks drop a deuce at the Bear's house and have a disturbing tissue lint problem? Was is all that fibrous porridge the lady consumed? Either way my Mom never told me that version of the story! (Hey Mom! What's with the censorship?!) Also, I don’t understand how this toilet paper malfunction inspires one to bend over and sway the evidence back and forth such as the big bear booties do in the commercial..(what is that about anyway?! They bend over a dramatic 120 degrees and glide their rears side-to-side in front of a zoomed lens for the world to witness their lint infested butts.) The Charmin brand team over at Proctor and Gamble obviously had to have performed some consumer research and found that TP lint was a significant consumer frustration and built their whole campaign to communicate that they are the solution to this problem. However, I think it's safe to assume that cartoon cotton crumbs do not inspire consumer purchase.

A broom?.. Ouch.
This Notion idea has been lingering in my mind for a while (wouldn't you like to visit my brain?) and as soon as I saw a sketch on Saturday Night Live I knew I wasn't alone. Like the blogging nerd I am, well- aspire to be, I rewound the DVR and recorded the clip- see below.

It was clear to some of the America's best comedians that this campaign was getting out of control and turning into a complete joke. Since SNL seemed to agree with my opinion I decided to ask some people what they thought of the "bear butt" commercials and what drives them to purchase one toilet paper brand over the other. I found that TP consumers are diverse, some are prepared for the apocalypse with their private stock of Costco purchased rolls while others purchase after they finally get sick of using rough paper towel or the extra napkins that came with their Chinese takeout. I was looking for purposefully brand driven consumption and Charmin specific opinions and found that only one person seemed to think the bears were cute while others said they don't buy Charmin because of their sinister ads! Granted my sample size was about 6 people and completely irrelevantly quant. (To be honest they were my friends and family which is the norm and expected step for any consumer to take when seeking an opinion or advice on a product.) In my arguably insignificant and informal consumer surveys, I discovered a little bit about what features or images inspire their TP purchases.

Hey Ladies- My sister says, "Hi, and to
'Throw your hands in the air if yous a true playa!'"
 One example includes my sister. She was all about the quilted pattern and texture- so Quilted Northern was her go to after a #2. Shout out to the little quilting ladies that put that product together, my sister appreciates your hard work. When asking my stepdad, he said, "Size, color or softness doesnt matter- shaking hands does- tis' better to use toilet paper than your hand." Sounds like his purchase decision is determined by price and I should probably think twice before giving him anymore hi-fives. As for my mom, she is a dog lover, so she goes for Cottenelle- because the adorable golden lab is pushing around a roll on the commercials as well as the packaging and I don’t know about you but a soft puppy definitely makes me want to wipe. Other opinions were pretty much the same as mine- they were annoyed, disgusted and over the Charmin ads! Charmin would be better off using the cartoon bears in another way like, "Yes, a bear does sh*t in the woods! However, you don’t. So wipe your a** with Charmin toilet paper."
Now that slogan is "Charm"in'!

Shout out to my loved ones that nag me to keep writing Notions! 
Appreciate the encouragement and faith.