Ad Review: Why Poo-Pourri's Stinky Santa Belongs on the Nice List
It's not just the name of a children's book by Taro Gomi, it's a simple fact of life. But it's not something you'd pick up if you watched toilet-related advertising. Take toilet paper, for example. If you were an alien anthropologist who sat through three decades of toilet paper advertising, you'd be hard-pressed to explain what toilet paper was used for other than squeezing or rubbing on your cheeks (the facial ones).
The only toilet paper -- sorry, bathroom tissue -- ads in recent memory that even hint at what goes on in there are the ones from Charmin featuring the bears. Watch those, and you can infer that the paper is used somewhere in the vicinity of the backside. (But they bring up a host of other questions about what cartoon bears do in the woods.)
Which is why I'm absolutely in love with the advertising from Poo-Pourri. The company makes a product that is meant to be sprayed into the toilet before you go, so that the god-awful stench doesn't embarrass you or traumatize your loved ones. The name hints at what the product is used for and the marketing spells it out in minute detail.
The latest video, from Ackermania Creative and produced by World War Seven, is called "Even Santa Poops." And while it mostly sidelines the English-accented spokeswoman from previous videos "Girls Don't Poop" and "Second-Hand Stink," it doesn't shy away from creating a steaming pile of Christmas-related poop puns.
Examples include: "the ghost of Christmas ass"; "dropping Yule logs down his chimney"; and "the whole house smells like a gingerbread manslaughter."
The video goes on to describe Poo-Pourri as "the gift that stops stinking" and ties its brilliant product mantra -- "Spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know" -- to more holiday-specific humor like "your dingleberries will smell like jingle-berries."
Now, is all of this slightly juvenile and decidedly gross? Sure it is. But those very elements guarantee that the video sticks in the mind and gets passed through social media like … well, never mind that.
And unlike a lot of branded content that goes viral, Poo-Pourri's video is not a random collection of crap that has nothing to do with the product. The genius of it is the awful jokes spell out exactly why you need the product. In other words, viewers might be thinking, "Oh my God, that's gross and stupid," but they're also thinking, "I've been in that exact situation. I need to buy this."
Instilling in a consumer the need to buy something will put any ad on the nice list, no matter how naughty it is.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story created World War Seven as the agency responsible for "Even Santa Poops." While World War Seven was the production company, Ackermania Creative was responsible for the creative concept.