Monday, November 14, 2005

When Toothpaste Isn't Toothpaste

I understand that some companies have to make certain visual analogies in their TV ads in order to demonstrate how their products work. The maxi pad industry pours blue water to show absorbency rates. Baby diapers do the same thing. Denture companies use dentures that in no way resemble the ones I've seen my grandparents run through the dishwasher. And toilet paper companies are no different - they want to advertise their product and its effectiveness without being too graphic. Unfortunately, Charmin has crossed the line in my book.

Their latest commercial, complete with cute dancing cartoon bears, has completely ruined toothpaste for me. At one point in the commercial, they squeeze toothpaste on the back of a human hand, and then show how well it wipes off with Charmin toilet paper. I guess at this point, everyone out in TV land is then supposed to conclude that the toothpaste represents someone's crap, and it's smeared on the back of a hand that's really just a stand-in for someone's backside. The result is that the past few days I've been reminded of human feces whenever I squeeze that tube of toothpaste onto my toothbrush. Was equating toothpaste, something we all have to use to clean our mouths with, to human fecal matter really necessary to sell toilet paper? Are their sales really doing that badly? Maybe if they'd make it so that 2 sheets don't clog up my toilet.... maybe that'd boost their sales.

Anyway, while we're at it, let's start using Twinkies to represent tampons, or your favorite lotion to graphically show the effectiveness of a certain brand of condom. I'm sure Twinkies would suddenly become less appetizing (if they ever were), and it'd probably make you think twice the next time you go to smear lotion all over your body. And now thanks to Charmin, I connect toothpaste and brushing my teeth with poop and wiping. It really gives their old slogan "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" a whole new meaning. THANK YOU, CHARMIN!

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