New Yorkers know it’s not always easy to find a (clean) public bathroom, so Charmin, famous for its potty programs that pop-up when and where consumers need them most, capitalized on the on-demand delivery trend with… you guessed it… an on-demand bathroom. Two Charmin Van-GO branded converted box trucks traveled to high-traffic areas in Manhattan on June 21 and 22, including Columbus Circle, Herald Square, Bryant Park, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Plaza, Union Square and the High Line, providing clean and spacious spaces to conduct business.
“Charmin’s entire mission is to bring a better bathroom experience to everyone so people can ‘Enjoy the Go,’” says Angie McAuliffe, family care associate communications manager at Procter & Gamble. “With the nature of so many things being able to be delivered right to peoples’ doorsteps, we thought the one thing right now that can’t be delivered is a bathroom, so why don’t we take a look at delivering one directly to where consumers are.”
To access the vans’ services, consumers visited the campaign technology platform, CharminVanGo.com, and entered their name, age, location and phone number. Within seconds, they received a confirmation text that a van was on its way with a phone number to communicate with the driver (much like the way ride services operate). Once one arrived, brand ambassadors “rolled out the white carpet” for consumers to use to step up into a waiting lounge in a front compartment with a chair, music and magazines. Through a sliding door, consumers accessed the bathroom complete with rustic accents (think: the Charmin bears mascots and forest themes), a digital sign flashing their name, a flushing toilet, large sink area and other amenities. There were also two types of Charmin toilet tissue to choose from, Ultra Strong and Ultra Soft.
Joining in on the campaign was ABC’s “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson who traveled onboard, surprising and delighting consumers with bathroom humor along the routes.
“We knew Anthony was a dedicated and busy family man whose character is often on the hunt for a bathroom in the series; he knows how important it is to have a clean and convenient restroom,” McAuliffe says. “So for that reason, as well as the fact he’s not one to shy away from bathroom jokes, we knew he would make people laugh and feel comfortable during the event—because it’s a bathroom on a street, essentially, so we wanted it to not only be a fun experience but a comfortable experience for all involved.”
Agencies: Jack Morton Worldwide, Chicago (activation); Publicis, New York City (concept); Genuine, Boston (technology platform).