Aliens Visit Bathroom Stalls in K-C Effort

Could Space-Age Tech Have Saved Larry Craig?

By Published on .

In the scariest thing to happen in a men's room since Larry Craig made a connection in Minneapolis, Kimberly-Clark Corp. is launching a viral video featuring an in-stall abduction to promote its new hands-free toilet-paper dispenser.

The video from Gnoggin, Atlanta, titled "Alien Droppings," is launching on the web for Halloween. (It hasn't gone live as of posting.) It may be the first toilet-paper advertising to show, even obliquely, the in-stall experience. Certainly it's the first to mix "Number Two" with a close encounter of the third kind.

It also includes a convincing product demo as a guy in the bathroom merely puts his hand under the new Kimberly-Clark Professional eJRT toilet paper dispenser to have a pre-measured strip of paper gently dropped in his palm.

It's so convincing, in fact, that an alien descends on the unwitting stall occupant (with pants around his ankles) to try to get hands, or tentacles, on the dispenser. A sequel drops on Nov. 30.

Kimberly-Clark describes it as "a quirky two-part video of a hapless earthling's encounter with a superior life form inside a men's room stall."

"Bathroom humor is something everybody has always been part of," said Sean Nichols, bathroom and facial tissue category manager for Kimberly-Clark Professional. "We wanted to provide some of that humor while showing people the dispenser."

The video is part of a contest that requires contestants to watch both videos and "create a three-minute script treatment for the duo's close encounter of the third time." The grand-prize winner will have his or her video produced and receive a Sony HD video camera to further future exploits in consumer-generated media.

Had the Minneapolis airport installed the eJRT, Sen. Craig might have totally avoided his close encounter of the law-enforcement kind.

As he revealed in an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer recently, the whole embarrassing misunderstanding that ended up with him pleading guilty to disorderly conduct occurred because he reached down to pick up a square of toilet paper that had fallen on the floor. That was to spare some poor soul the indignity of leaving with toilet paper stuck to his shoe.

With the pre-measured portions dispensed by the K-C eJRT requiring no manual tearing, that sort of errant drop should be much less likely.

Mr. Craig's problems probably have focused more attention than usual on happenings in public restrooms, Mr. Nichols said, but he's not sure that will help the video. He said K-C Professional tried but ultimately rejected a video concept related to the senator's legal difficulties.

Based on response to the initial release of the product, which included coverage on Fox News, Mr. Nichols is expecting decent response to the video, and hoping for 200-500 entries.

He's also hoping the video reaches many more people than building purchasing agents, saying the more people know about the product, the greater demand will be for it.
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