Toilet Paper Commercials

Have you seen this commercial for Cottonelle toilet paper?

Or how about this one for Charmin?

Toilet paper commercials have always bothered me.  I’m aware of what toilet paper is and what function it serves.  I don’t really need a 30 second spot to convince me to buy it.  I understand that the commercials are more for brand awareness, but have you every really paid attention to what they’re telling you?  I just get a little weirded out by a family of cartoon bears shaking their butts around on my TV.  Also not a fan of an angel baby proving the softness claim to me.  But the one that really has me disgusted right now is that first ad above for Cottonelle.  I’ll admit, Cottonelle is my go-to toilet paper.  Mostly because it is softer than a sheet of sand paper and is usually reasonably priced.  

Let’s break down the Cottonelle ad.

“Cottonelle clean ripple texture gets you cleaner”.  Have you ever really studied the texture of your toilet paper.  Have you found that certain patterns leave you feeling more ‘clean’ than others?  Can you imagine being the folks in the lab designing and testing various textures?  (Side note – how do they even test toilet paper?! Besides wetting it down and placing a stack of quarters on top of it.  How many textures do you suppose you have to test before finding ‘the one?)

“Will it make people confident enough to go commando?” – I will get to this below…

“How is your wiping experience?”  My wiping experience?  My wiping experience?  Um, what are my choices?  Exciting? Messy? Relieving? Troublesome?  I think this guy went with the right choice: “OK”, even if he said it with a little too much enthusiasm.

“Probably the ripples just clean better”  “Yea, why?”  “It would just pick up more layers” – um, WHAT???  Layers?  What type of layers do you have going on in your toilet paper use region sir?  You must have been using the wrong toilet paper…possibly even no toilet paper, if you have a ‘layers’ issue.  And what was with the awkward squiggle you had going on with your body?  Did that have something to do with the layers?  I can’t imagine having layers would be comfortable, but I wouldn’t know, because I already use Cottonelle!

“Do you feel confident enough to go commando?”  “Go commando? Um, yea. Sure.”  Congratulations!!!   “I did it” (he says while goofily handing the lady a bag that we can only assume is holding his soiled undies, you know, because he hadn’t previously been using Cottonelle).  “How do you feel?!”  “Fresh” – ok, first off, this whole thing doesn’t make sense to me.  There appears to be functioning bathrooms right behind them in this shot, however, he steps into a tent?  I’m assuming there isn’t a toilet in there.  So is that tent just for changing (aka, going commando)?  If so, then how did he get the fresh feeling?  Did he just wipe away some layers?  If using Cottonelle is what led to him feeling fresh, at what point did he use it…?

The whole premise of this commercial is what really gets me.  Cottonelle is so good at cleaning you up after your bathroom duty that you don’t even need underwear!  That’s what they’re saying, right?  So, to them, underwear is nothing more than a drip and smudge protector for your pants?  I haven’t ever had a serious thinking session about why I wear underwear, I just do.  But never have I thought of it as something for me to fall back on when I find myself in a bathroom without Cottonelle present.

Now for the fine print – did you catch the message “Real people aware they were being filmed, and subsequently compensated.”  Oh thank goodness!!!  I’d hate to think this guy got caught up in this ripple-layers-commando mess and wasn’t adequately compensated for it.  I suppose you had to play along with their gimmick to get paid, but I would definitely like to see the outtakes from this day of filming!

There you have it.  I hope you see this commercial soon and get that uncomfortable squirmy feeling when they guy starts talking about his layers.  Onions have layers.  Cracks?  NOPE!

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