Duolingo is printing language lessons on toilet roll (for real)

Project from W&K Amsterdam started as an April Fool but is 'rolling out' at WeWork restrooms in China

Published On
Apr 01, 2021

Editor's Pick

It's often hard to find the time to learn a language (even in lockdown, as many people promised they would do last year, and then failed.) But now, language learning app Duolingo is helping people to learn some new phrases in a place where they might find some downtime: the restroom. 

In a campaign from Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, which started out as an April Fool idea but has in fact become a real product, the company is printing language phrases on toilet paper. The Duolingo rolls are available for English speakers learning Spanish, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese speakers learning English.

As well as influencers being sent the toilet rolls in the U.S., Brazil, England, Mexico and Japan, the agency has persuaded WeWork to install the toilet paper in 18 of their restrooms in China, while other bathrooms will also carry information about the product. There will also be a Twitter contest for English speakers to win a roll in Spanish. And if the idea is a success, it hopes to (ahem) roll the toilet paper out on a wider scale. 

 “Duolingo understands that one of the most common barriers to learning a language is how much time it takes,” said Thom Dinsdale, planning director at W&K Amsterdam, in a statement. “However, studies have found that people spend an average of 14 minutes a day sitting on the toilet. Developing a new product to help learners utilize this down time was a natural extension of its multi-platform offering.”   


Apr 01, 2021
Client :
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy-Amsterdam
CEO Founder :
Luis von Ahn
Chief Marketing Officer :
Cammie Dunaway
Creative Director Brand & Marketing :
James Kuczynski
Lead Public Relations and Social Media Manager :
Michaela Kron
Senior Marketing Program Manager :
Michelle Sharp
Head of International Marketing :
Manu Orssaud
Global Head of Communications :
Sam Dalsimer
Social Media Coordinator :
Zaria Parvez
Director of Regional Marketing Europe :
Colin Watkins
Director of Country Marketing Mexico :
Rebeca Ricoy
Country Marketing Manager Brazil :
Ana Martins
Director of Country Marketing China :
Haina Xiang
Marketing Manager China :
Chuchu Zhang
Country Marketing Manager Japan :
Sho Mizutani
Sr. Brand Designer :
Jack Morgan
Sr. Copywriter :
Kev Daley
Senior Design Manager :
Kristen Cesiro
Sr. Marketing Operations Manager :
Aaron Mahone
Senior Localization Program Manager :
Eva Raimondi
Spanish Language Manager :
Gina Rovirosa Trujillo
Head of Performance Marketing :
Arthur Jun
Head of Media :
Achim Spelten
Senior Engineering Manager :
Peng Zuo
Software Engineer II :
Xiangming Chu
Engineering Director :
Sean Colombo
Operations Engineer II :
Ningxin Liao
Manager Netherlands :
Fabien Loudet
General Counsel :
Stephen Chen
Managing Director :
Blake Harrop
Executive Creative Director :
Eric Quennoy
Executive Creative Director :
Mark Bernath
Creative Director :
Hannah Smit
Creative Director :
Edouard Olhagaray
Art Director :
Emma Mallinen
Copywriter :
Ane Santiago Quintas
Print Producer :
Loes Poot
Group Account Director :
Eleanor Thodey
Account Director :
Ramiro del-Cid
Account Manager :
Marie Lee
Head of Planning :
Martin Weigel
Planning Director :
Thom Dinsdale
Head of Comms & Digital Strategy :
Danielle Pak
Digital Strategy Director :
Freddie Young
Head of Studio :
Lizzie Murray
Senior Designer :
Ashley Olsson
Studio Artist :
Cindy Kouwenoord
Business Affairs :
Akvilina Jaskunaite
Production Company :
Loupe & Co.
Photographer :
Maarten Wouters
Retouching :
Dario Fusnecher
Printer Wrappers, Cards and Boxes :
Quantes Den Haag
Creative Producer :
Richard Mourik
Marketing Manager :
Willem-Bas Hess
Printer Loo Rolls :
Dinilu Netherlands
Manager Netherlands :
Mark Tonino

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