Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Friday, March 29, 2013


The guys who write ad copy these days must all be on crack.  Either that, or we have entered an amazing time, a time when the “don’t give a shit” generation has finally found its voice.  Is it my imagination, or are ads getting weirder and weirder these days?

A few examples:

Charmin bunwad.  I have, in the past, written reams  (or the electronic equivalent) about Abstergent Materials and the peculiar cultural association of Excrement and Ursine Mammals.  That cultural association is popular enough hereabouts that Procter & Gamble decided to crapitalize on it, creating a family of lovable bears who somehow did not get the memo about members of the Ursidae clan and their obligation to shit in the woods.  No: These bears have indoor plumbing, and they apparently do all their dump-taking and arse-wiping on shiny porcelain fixtures.

But WTF kind of slogan is this: “We all go. Why not enjoy the go?”

Let’s parse this one, shall we?  We can start by replacing the euphemisms with their deeper, darker meanings. “We all gotta shit.  Why not enjoy taking a shit?”

It’s an interesting choice of verb, that one.  Enjoy.  And P&G has apparently given it some thought.  From their Charmin website: “Welcome to the playful side of TP. Where we believe going to the bathroom is a thing to enjoy - even celebrate. Can we make you a believer?”

Make you a believer, eh?  Hmmm... I wonder what kind of baptism that involves.  Yeef.

Look: I enjoy a cold Martini and a medium-rare ribeye steak.  I enjoy reading a good book.  I enjoy making the Two-Backed Beast with my lovely Missus.  But crimping off a length I do not, precisely, enjoy: It is not so much a source of delight as it is a relief.  A Necessity of Life, as it were.  And my choice of asswipe is not going to elevate the experience to, say, the degree of pleasure I experience when I hit a good tee shot or listen to a good piece of music... not even if using it could provide the sensation of a $1000 hooker licking my nethers.  I'm happy enough if I don’t rub myself raw or suffer the consequences of the dreaded Poke-Through.

I suppose the term “tolerate” doesn't sell much Tee Pee.  Neither does the catchphrase “We all gotta take a dump.  Why not minimize the unpleasantness?”  But enjoy?  That’s a bit of a stretch - and celebrate is definitely going too far.

Bunwad Bears
Use this handy guide to help you identify various types of bears, only some of which shit in the woods. Left to right: Charmin bear, Arctic bear, Yogi Bear. [Click to embiggen.]

Give the Charmin folks credit, though.  They’ve laid waste (you should excuse the expression) to a long-standing Cultural Taboo, and now it’s OK to talk about not just Toilet Paper, but the reason it is used.  Yes - primetime shit, complete with cartoon bears!

Universal Studios Theme Parks. “Fly like you’ve never been grounded, scream like you’ve never been shushed, let go like you have nothing to lose and hold onto what matters most!”  Huh?

This ad appears to have been written by someone who had built a career in the Greeting Card industry and who was sleeping off a three-day bender when this assignment crossed his desk.

“Scream like you’ve never been shushed.”  Really?  Am I the only one who finds that phrase peculiar?  As though being asked, at some point in one’s life, to STFU, somehow creates a psychological barrier to future Enjoyment via Loud Shouting? 

Maybe Universal should make a deal with P&G to borrow those Charmin bears.  “Wipe like you’re gonna enjoy it!”

Kia Soul.  What’s up with those fucking hamsters?  I guess there’s a demographic that likes to imagine themselves as mutated giant rodents with a taste for house music and boxy little cars in which to play it at earsplitting volume.  And, on a certain level, it makes sense.  Hamsters gotta have they Wheels.

Kia Soul Hamsters
“Hey, anyone got any toilet paper? I think I just sharted!” The Kia Soul hamsters enjoy a pleasant evening drive. Based on the noise and graphics, they’ve each done about three hits of windowpane.

Tell you what I’d really like to see: A cross-promotional campaign that would feature the Charmin bears and the Kia Soul hamsters doing guest shots in each others’ ads.  Bears driving cars and listening to Feenixpaul... hamsters wiping their shit-caked butts and raving about how much they Enjoy the Go!  I’m a Quilted Northern man, but I’d switch to Charmin if they started using those hamsters.  Just saying. 


Kevin Kim said...

"Bears driving cars and listening to Feenixpaul..."

Bears shitting in Kias and wiping (or pipe-cleaning!) themselves with hamsters...

og said...

I can't personally imagine how anyone would be pleased to drive a Kia, or any of the now-popular boxes that cars apparently come in, but having been in many, including the Kia, the Element, the Scion, I can assure you, that if you are equipped with an enormous lap-ass the way the hamsters in question are, you aren't going to be driving one. The steering wheel would be more or less permanently lodged in your fat.

I never have watched enough conventional TV to be concerned about commercials, but I do remember learning from them that baby pee and menstrual fluid are both a soothing pastel blue. How can you be distrustful of someone who gives you this important data?

mostlycajun said...

DEspite the fact that I was once forced to rent a Kia Soul and fund it to be a neat vehicle, I refused to consider one for two reasons, first, that incredibly stupid commercial, and second, the name, which reeks of sad attempts to pander.

I bought a Honda Fit, and I can't ever remember a commercial for one.

As far as the TP, I'm a big fan. Finest stuff since the grey paper I used to filch from Bundeswehr barracks back in the days when I held back the Commie hordes at teh Fulda Gap.


Rahel Jaskow said...

Ever been to the Charmin Restrooms at Times Square? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwPYdgjnzxs

And here's their marketing plan:


Elisson said...

As you well know, og, I've been driving an Element for close to eight years. It’s a lot roomier than you would ever imagine - I once used it to transport a king-size bed. (Yes, you read that right.)

I used to laugh at the Element until one day I decided to get one... a conversion that was noteworthy enough to have been the subject of an article in a New Zealand advertising magazine. It's like a big Kia without the mutated ghetto hamsters.

og said...

I once loaded 10 4x8 sheets of drywall onto an MG Midget. You can carry almost anything on almost anything, if you're determined enough.
If we ever chance to meet, and I'm with someone, I'm just gonna pretend you have a Camry, or maybe a Riviera. I'd like it if you kept that whole element thing on the downlow.