December 1, 2006
I’m Embarrassed for My Profession
File this under the heading of “just when you think you’ve seen it all” — I am a marketing services person and typically applaud ingenuity and buzz-generating things wherever I see them. But even I was a bit surprised last night at dinner when I went to use the restroom to find a new form of advertising — the custom urinal cake.
Universal is promoting its new film, Let’s Go to Prison, in this somewhat unorthodox manner. It did have my rapt attention for, say, 30-60 seconds, which is more time than I usually give ads. And perhaps I paid more attention to it than I would have had it been a wall-mounted eye-level ad above the urinal.
I know from my MovieFone days (and ironically, I was at a MovieFone alumni happy hour last night just before this restroom odyssey) that studios will try anything, but honestly, do you want your customers literally pissing on your brand? What’s next, print ads on toilet paper? Hopefully at least the fulfillment company would come up with a sure-bet non-bleeding ink.
And as my colleague Tami said when I mentioned this to her today, how exactly are they planning on tracking the effectiveness of these ads? It’s not like you can measure the click-stream. 🙂