A really crappy assignment

tt-toilet-humor-hed-01-2015I never really imagined I’d be writing about toilet commercials but when I saw a recent spot for American Standard’s new VorMax flushing system, I just about ____ my pants.


Well, not really. But the commercial called “Splatter” certainly made its point and grabbed my attention, particularly since I just recently got over a stomach virus.


I can just imagine the writer assigned to the account on a conversation with his mother. “Yeah, mom, we’re working on some really cool stuff. Yeah, it’s going to be a national TV commercial for American Standard – you and dad ought to check it out.”

Actually, the premise behind the commercial makes brilliant sense. Ever since low flow regulations reduced the amount of water toilets could flush from 3.5 gallons down to 1.6, Americans have been both disgusted and discouraged by what’s been left behind. The new VorMax flushing system comes in with two streams of water to wash our troubles away.

But how to demonstrate that fact? Resort to potty humor.

There are three spots in the campaign – “Skid Marks”, “Clingers” and “Splatter”. I had seen “Clingers” a few times before. http://bcove.me/2wlabta2 I don’t think I quite got the message with the first viewing but I definitely remember the end visual of a man’s head popping out of the toilet with the message, “It’s clean!”

Talk about memorable visuals.

The first time I saw “Splatter”, I even noticed the subtle reference of a ketchup bottle on the insides of the toilet, cleansed away in a VorMax product demonstration. Now that I’ve seen all three of the commercials (here’s the third one called “Skid Marks” http://bcove.me/b6enm8ex) I see how they’re carrying that message through in each of the spots.

The commercials were created by 22squared in Atlanta. I’ve never heard of them before but a little research told me that they’re the 4th largest independently owned agency in America which evolved out of West Group back in the early 90s. So they’ve been around for awhile. A little more time on their website and I see that they do consistently great work and have had the American Standard account for a while and in fact, won a 2014 Gold Effie award for a campaign that helped provide impoverished countries with more than 500,000 donated toilet pans. http://www.22squared.com/work/american-standard

So congrats to the creative team at 22squared.

We’re not quite ready to rush out and buy a new toilet as a result of this campaign. But they’ve definitely raised brand awareness of American Standard in my brain.

There’s a lot of bad advertising out there. Most of it, should be flushed right down the toilet. Thanks to VorMax, I can be sure there won’t be any lingering residue.

Duty calls.