Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Come back, Mr. Whipple!

Yes, I know that some people still call this "bath tissue" or "TP". They can't even say the name of it. But I think Charmin has gone a little bit too far the other way.

The first time I saw the TV ad with the bear going behind a tree, I thought: they're showing an animal defecating. Yes. That's what they're showing. He's pooping on TV.

This progressed, or regressed, to a bear cub who had "little pieces left behind". Charmin promised not to do this, maybe due to its softness, its super-absorbency, and its ability to wipe the anus clean with efficiency and charm.

Then there came a phrase that made my jaw drop. "Charmin. Enjoy the go!"

Enjoy the. . . go?

I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, but there it was. It just gobsmacked me, is all. From all this secrecy and euphemism and coyness came a sudden encouragement to really enjoy taking that big ol' dump every morning.

Well, what else could it be?

Charmin really went all out to promote this questionable campaign. They put on a big - what would you call it, anyway? A bathroom exhibit, full of jolly, funny wordplay on excrement and other bodily wastes. I've seen YouTube video of it. I think it was in New York. The people attending it looked dazed. One of the exhibits was called Sit or Squat, some sort of road map to get to the crapper in your neighborhood.

Yeah, I know, maybe this merry, celebratory approach to elimination is "healthier" than secrecy or shame, which is what most people feel or they wouldn't be so careful not to make a noise or a smell. And I am the first to appreciate a clean, well-appointed public restroom (which accounts for less than 10% of what I see in stores and restaurants - and let's not even get into service stations).

But. . . "enjoy the go"? Hasn't Charmin received any complaints from the public? Who thought up this lame, silly, immature thing anyway, this slogan that a six-year-old would giggle over?

Some ads are so clumsy, the seams show, and this is one of them. It's contrived. It's even offensive. The geniuses on Mad Men would be horrified.

Is the country ready for clever word-play and jibes about our need to piss and shit every day? I think I'm going back to Purex, thank you very much.